Saturday we had a couple of friends over for a little grilling, which was a success; after we were done we all went over to Boltini, a pretty nice bar in Champaign, to listen to the music and drink. They had a co-DJ thing going on, with DJ Mertz, who also works in my department so I know him and am comfortable saying hi, and J-Phlip, who was the first DJ that I really developed an ear for, and who got me into listening to house music to begin with. She used to play on Tuesdays, which coincided with a few times I went out for a drink with Allison, and I remember really liking the music which kind of surprised me.
In any event, I became somewhat of a fan and was happy she was back in town (after her weekly Tuesday gig she found some fame by winning a Los Angeles "Best Female DJ" contest and moved to the much more lucrative Chicago club scene). And I loved hearing her stuff again. I was surprised at how she and Mertz were able to trade off so seamlessly and with no communication; he said they had been working together so long that it was just natural to switch back and forth. We actually closed the bar, and I got to say thanks and goodbye to her when she wasn't at the turntables, and that was satisfying.
This afternoon at work I was telling someone about my weekend, which made me think about it, so I put my headphones on and while working on a frustrating software install I listened to one of her recorded mixes. My headphones are pretty good at insulating outside sound so I'm in the habit of looking up when I catch motion in the hall, in case someone is looking to talk to me.
And so I looked up, and there she was. Except it couldn't be her, what is a Chicago DJ doing on Comm Tech row in the computer lab on a Monday? I pulled out my headphones and there was this quite awkward moment, recognition without really believing it. Instead of the usual "can I help you find someone?" that I ask of strangers at my door, I said something like "Uh, hi." To which she said "you were at Boltini Saturday, I remember you." We laughed at how weird it was to run into each other, especially since I was listening to her at the moment and what were the odds, and so on. She was of course looking for Mertz, whose office is on another floor, so she was really lost. I gave her the right room number and we talked a little about DJing, and that I was a fan, and how we all had a good time, and I hoped she would come back some time (she said she would), and off she went.
It was just a surreal yet really neat thing to happen in the middle of a dull work afternoon. I went into my group's office going "holy shit, that was J-Phlip!" but of course none of them had any idea what I was talking about.