i was already wake lying in bed when manny called me to go to dim sum. "it's a place in woburn," he said. woburn? what kind of quality dim sum can be had at woburn? turns out it's a place founded by the same owners of china pearl in chinatown (it's even named china pearl as well), located in the same restaurant building that used to be weylou's, that garish chinese eatery at the edge of the highway.

the food at this woburn china pearl was good, just like china pearl in chinatown, with much better decor, more spacious dining (no table sharing here!). even the bathroom was very clean, which i was surprised to see, since chinese restaurants are notorious for foul washrooms. i got my tripe and chicken feet, but they didn't have any chatsuo buns (they only came out when i was already full). manny told me how he and daisy were now house hunting in arlington, and i told him now was a good time to find bargains because a lot of sellers want to sell before the winter arrives, which is usually a dead time for house buying.

i got a ride back home and took a shower. the new soap i'm using now is called smorgasbar peppermint, it leaves me feeling tingly all over, a good summer soap, but not so good for winter because it feels "cold". i have a secret: i'm falling in love with these naturally scented soaps, i like them better than the artificial "perfume" scent of regular soaps.

later in the evening i went to spooky world with john and deanna, in town for john's nephews' birthdays, and dan and cymara. leaving the house, we bumped into joel and sarah and shaun, driving by in joel's jeep. the five of us piled into the kuehner mobile with cymara behind the wheels. we made a quick stop in porter square to get some coffee and money, john attracting the attention of two holy cross groupies while we were getting money from the atm. the new spooky world is located in foxboro, besides the football stadium. the large parking lot was already packed, which was surprising, until we saw the massive line of people waiting to get tickets into spooky world. fortunately dan had a friend reserve 5 tickets for us, and all we had to do was walk up to the ticket counter and pay for them, despite the murmur of "no cutting!" as we passed all the people in line.

spooky world in a nutshell: mobs of high school kids, parents with kids, you basically wait in line 20-30 minutes to go into the various haunted houses (reaper rated so you can tell how scary they are) which only takes 2-3 minutes to walk through. inside, actors dressed up as ghosts and zombies try to scare you, hands reaching out from holes in the wall, or someone jumping out from concealed doors. frankly, the supernatural doesn't put the scare in my heart. i'm afraid of real life terrors, like contracting a venereal disease, getting audited by the IRS, or attracting a stalker. werewolves and the undead don't factor into my daily fear quotient. nevertheless, i played along, i screamed when the opportunity came along, pretended to be scared. i figured the least i could do was to make these actors feel better about themselves, boost their self-esteem into thinking that they "got me" somehow. it's tough to be a spook house actor! the sign outside says it all, "spooky world has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to violence against our actors." because for some people, they'll instinctively strike out at anything that scares them, so i bet it can be dangerous sometimes.

we went through a total of four haunted houses: elvira's nightmare haunted house, phantom mineshaft, 3D disco, and finally cirque macabre. my favorite was 3D disco, where you had to wear these special glasses that really made all the psychedelic colors pop out. the finally part of the house was a corridor inside of a spinning cylinder that seemed to make the whole room spin, that was pretty cool, i want one for my own house. elvira's house, even though it was rated 5 reapers, was kind of weak, although some of the interior set design was pretty gruesome (mad scientist lab with bloody body parts in particular).

another interesting part of spooky world was the horror memorabilia museum, full of costumes and scripts and posters of horror movies, old and new, as well as a collection of old school halloween costumes (the kind with the plastic mask that scratches you when you wear it). it would've been interesting just to go to the museum on its own.

there were also some amusement park rides, but we spent so much time waiting in line to see the haunted houses,

there was no time to ride the ferris wheel or the teacups. john and deanna however got to ride these elastic propelled jumping harness that allowed you to jump several stories up in the air. john complained how the harness was quite uncomfortable after the ride was over.

we left around midnight, spooky world was just nearing closing time. i got a ride back to cambridge, my evening extended by an hour due to the start of daylight saving's time. the first thing i did when i got home was to turn on television to the sports channel, happy to see that the marlins had just won the world series. poetic justice.