Woke up with Kira still alseep next to me. Even when it's a friend and not someone you're involved with, I think it's one of the wonderful things in this world. Sunk back into unconsciousness and dreamed I was talking to her while we were both asleep.

When we both woke for real, we continued watching the end of The Young Ones tape. Kira had to see the "kill the hippie!" ending to one episode after I mentioned it. Strange British humor concluded, we took off. I once again failed to mention my disappearance - oops. We stopped at the late Senor Fish first. For some strange reason, they had changed the name to Senor Fresh, signifying the death of another monument of our childhood. On the other hand, they had Red Bull at the counter, which helped me wake up quite a bit. On the other hand, their portions sucked - their so-called "large" taco was about half the size of the old tacos. The fish taco still tasted great, despite their miniscule size. The nature of their staff seems to have changed a lot as well, since the original Mexican servers are gone and only the cooks have stayed. Not saying I mind having an attractive female college student take my order, but it still seems somehow wrong...

We then headed off to UCLA to see a friend of Kira from Oberlin. Ben was apparently taking summer classes there in Korean and Japanese history - impressive. Kira warned me that he was somewhat quiet, and seemed to have a crush on her as well. No prob - I love shy people. So much fun to play with. UCLA certainly had an impressive number of good-looking Asian girls, one thing I've missed up in Oregon. College attitude abounded, and Kira had much fun with the drivers. We parked and vaulted down and over the railways to Ben's dorm room in must what be the graduate student living area during the regular academic season - swank for university living.

If anything, Ben was shyer than I had expected. Not much body expression, didn't talk much unless talked too, whatever. I've acted worse when meeting new people, so I didn't give it much thought. I imagine his crush on Kira was another "I know you so I want to love you" situation, since he was glad to see her but not that glad. We talked for a while, but then Kira had to go back to Ventura to work at one of her jobs. Thing was, she was only going in for an hour, so we felt that was unfair and warranted drastic action. So I convinced her to lie and say she had car trouble. After much weeping, wailing, and bemoaning, she called and found out they had left a message at her house. They didn't need her to come in. I don't think this would ever become an after-school special - the moral's a little fuddled. With that reprieve under our wings, we hit the road.

First we hit Rhino Records. Disappointingly small techno section, but they had a decent Digweed set from Global Undergound and The K&D Sessions by Kruder and Dorfmeister, which I've been listening to constantly since buying. Didn't have the Digweed set I wanted, but hey. They were the first CDs I had bought since using high-speed access at college. Ben had apparently spent all of his cash on CDs earlier, and Kira got a staff discount at her store, so I was the only one walking out of the store secure in the happiness of consumerism. We then went to 3rd Street in Santa Monica, a street set aside just for pedestrians. Interesting and varied group of people and stores. Unlike say Oldtown in Pasadena or Universal Citywalk *shudder*, there didn't seem to be cops or rent-a-cops moving everyone along they didn't like.

We next dropped off at Midnight Special, a decent independent bookstore. Eclectic collection, knowledgably alternative employees, pocket editions of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence at the counter, and hugely tall bookshelves, and for once, they allowed the customers to use the ladders. Wee, I loved them instantly! I picked up Whit by Iain Banks, Foucalt's Pendulum by Emberto Eco, Strip Joint by Carol Lay, a collection of Story Minute strips, and seven miles a second by David Wojnarowicz and James Romberger. The employees actually complimented me for buying the last one, saying what a great piece of literature it is. Definitely one of the angriest scribes I've ever read.

There was a sign saying All Pets Must Be Carried on the wall, and Kira made a crack asking if I wanted to be carried out, so I wapped her with my wallet. A rather short woman with some strange physical disability tried to push her way between us, telling me rather pointedly not to hit her. I explained it was only fair, Kira hit me a decent amount as well. Kira then demonstrated, not quite necessarily. It got her a glare from me, but the woman was assuaged, and actually started chatting with us jokingly. I think she thought we were going out.

We took off with Ben in tow. I stopped at a henna stall first, since I wanted a small star on my right earlobe. On BMEzine there's an amazing picture of a woman with a blue star tattoo on her ear with a captive bead ring through it. I wanted to see what it could do for me. Not much, unfortunately - I peeled the henna off way too early, and the star was barely visible. Oops. Kira dropped Ben off at the luscious UCLA dorms, and we headed off home, since I had a short doctor's appointment. Unfortuntely, traffic around UCLA virtually stopped for minutes. We could see the police telling people to shove off and guiding traffic, but we couldn't tell why. Probably some celebrity or something. It delayed us so much we got stuck in rush hour traffic, and I missed the doctor's appointment. Kira was freaking out more than I was - very apologetic, anxious. I figured there wasn't much I could do, so a stoic response was best. Dropped by the office, but the doctor was already gone. Headed home to a lovely reception by my mother. Since I hadn't said good-bye last night and hadn't said I was going out in the morning, and she had got a phone call from the doctor asking where I was, she was less than happy. Only good point was the henna star, actually. When I first mentioned it, she thought it was a tattoo. I think coming home from college with my piercings shocked her, and she hasn't known what I'd do since. Guess I never discussed my interest in it before, and since I didn't take up her offer to pierce my ears (what homophobia really means).

She forgave me though, and I headed off with Kira for dinner. Went to a nice Indian restaurant. Good food, and I haven't had such great service in a long time. The night had to end some time however. Kira headed off to Ventura, and I crashed at home. What enjoyable two days.