Posted in 2015 (Europe), Blog

02/12/15: The Great Museum Expedition New Record

So I realize now that I didn’t actually write very extensively about my trip to NYC and DC, but I do consider the trip to DC to be an extended Great Museum Expedition,which of course first started when I went to as many museums in a day as I possibly could when I was in Hong Kong. Over the course of two days in DC, I visited … well, actually I don’t remember how many I visited. I think it was about three or four a day? Regardless, I definitely beat my own record this time.

Today started off unlike the previous Museum Expeditions because I know I’ll be back in Dublin come January and will have more time to spend in the museums. So of course, I used the chance to break my previous museums in a day record, but at least I also slept in. In Dublin, there are quite a few museums and libraries that also double as museums, so I started by looking at the National Museum of Ireland locations and choosing my ending place as the Chester Beatty Library. As with all best laid plans, they gang aft aglay, but this time not in a bad way and in more of a “well now I have a reason to do this again” kind of way. Armed with a pretty decent knowledge of Dublin City Centre and my bus route, I put some little stars on a Google Map and made my way into town.

Although it opened at 10am, I arrived at the first museum, the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History Museum, around 11am. For the first half hour of my trip through the museum, I was the only person there… I follow the NMI Twitter account, so I couldn’t help but Tweet at them this strange phenomenon a couple of times.

I’d previously gotten a reply from the Denver Nature and Science Museum while I was there and I wanted the chance to tell the museum what aspects I liked and what I thought of the exhibits. I didn’t spend much time in the History exhibits, I’ll admit, but I really enjoyed the Curator’s Choice exhibit because each artifact’s historical significance was highlighted in its information and there was often a quote from the curator himself about why he liked the piece or what it meant to him in relation to Dublin’s history. When I was walking through the third floor, I heard a rhythmic ticking and wondered if there was a temporary installation but, instead, I found a really neat clock! I took a video or two of it before going through to the next room, where I asked the at ending if the clock still chimed. He replied in the affirmative, so I walked through a couple rooms before coming back just in time to arch the clock mechanism chime for noon. I think it would’ve been cool to also see the bells themselves, but I understand that would be super loud and thought the clock was really cool regardless. As I was trying to leave, I found a dead horse skeleton, which I was not expecting…

My next stop was lunch, I tried to go to a place called Mandarin House because I found a review on Yelp that featured a photo of the salty Beijing noodles I have been searching for, but I ended up eating forlornly in the Centra across the street. After my not-noodles lunch, I walked to the shopping section because I wanted to catch a bus to my next location and I wanted to get my phone sorted out. The phone guy was super helpful and bumped up the amount of my top up so I didn’t have to pay for more data between now and when I go back to the US in six days, so that was super helpful.

Then I went and caught a bus to my next stop, the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology. Turns out the NMI – Archaeology location was in the same gate as the National Library of Ireland, which we’d had a talk about during my course, so I figured once I finished at the Archaeology museum, I would go check out the Yeats exhibit there. The most fascinating and simultaneously gross exhibit at the Archaeology museum was the bog men, who had been found preserved in the peat bogs of Ireland. The first one I looked at was mostly a skeleton and I think I went through the bog exhibit backwards because after I read the info about the second and third bog men I saw, I began to realize that these weren’t just really old bodies preserved in the bog, they were really old murdered bodies that were preserved in the bog.

BOG MEN A photo posted by April (@apparentlyapril) on

There were two other American girls going through the bog men exhibit at the same time as me and I had a chat with them next to the final bog body, but at least it wasn’t the one with part of his face because I found him to be the most unnerving. They invited me to go to the National Leprechaun Museum, but I had only just arrived at the museum and wasn’t heading in that direction, but I told them I thought my friend was working there at the time. Later, Aoife commented on my Facebook status saying she sold them tickets to the museum!

Once I finished there, I got directions to the NMI – Natural History before heading across the courtyard (by going out the gate and then back in the other one) to the National Library of Ireland. They have an ongoing Yeats exhibit, which it really enjoyed. It reminded me a lot of the Alice in Wonderland exhibit I went to in NYC’s Morgan Library & Museum over the summer. I especially enjoyed the video room exhibit sections, but was somewhat disappointed that I couldn’t read the poems that were projected in light on the screens. Behind the screens, were the “hallways” that went behind the screen exhibit and you could see landscapes and paintings through the screens. Kind of hard to explain, sorry! I also enjoyed the exit activity of “What is your favorite poem?” Where you write down you favorite poem title, the author, and your name and post it up. Katherine McSharry, the NLI Head of Outreach, said during her guest lecture at UCD that they tally the answers at the end of the year. I chose To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell.

By this point in the day, I was definitely jonesing for a tea break, but also determined to museum it up in the last hours of the working day, so I walked over to the NMI – Natural History. As I was walking, I was thinking about my usual refrain regarding Natural History Museums: they’re usually the same. A standard natural history museum has mummies, dinosaurs, and space. Natural history isn’t really all that different around the world, but when I got to the NMI – Natural History I was surprised.

Oh DEER

A photo posted by April (@apparentlyapril) on

It reminded me a lot of the Pirates! In an Adventure with Science! scene where they meet the scientists.

Pirates!

I imagined the NH Museum was the kind of place where scientists in the early 1900s talked about dead animals. I made my way to the back and went through a closed door, which is a very uncomfortable experience for me, I don’t like to open closed doors – they’re closed for a reason! Went up the stairs and…. WOAH. At the end of the room was a sign saying this particular museum is frequently called the “dead zoo” and to that I say, yes accurate!

It was really impressive, though. I couldn’t get up to the balcony because, according to a very official sign and gate, there isn’t a good way to evacuate the balconies. A friend told me later they were doing a tour with teachers about three years ago when the staircase collapsed. No thanks, I’ll wait until they fix it up. (Dear National Museum of Ireland, please fix it up! I want to see the giraffe’s face!) After the Natural History Museum, I went to catch a bus to my final stop, the Chester Beatty Library, but I was really needing a tea pick-me-up, so I swung through the National Gallery Ireland and had a spot of tea there beforehand. A lot of the NGI is currently under construction and I’ll have to go back once more of it is open, but the paintings were lovely and I was somewhat surprised at the number of teens to young adults I saw in there on a Wednesday afternoon. As I was making my way through Dublin Castle’s grounds on my way to the Chester Beatty Library, I was seriously weighing coming back when I wasn’t so tired, it wasn’t so dark out, and when I would have enough time to go through Dublin Castle’s things. The decision was made for me, though, as I made it to the library just as the man was locking the doors. And that concluded (today’s) Great Museum Exhibition, with five museums visited! I realize now this blog post itself is the length of the essays I should’ve been doing instead of going on a Great Museum Expedition, but whatever. I had a good time and hope you’ve read this far! Especially because next week I’ll be home for Christmas holiday! I leave on Tuesday and I’m really excited because I’ll be home in time for my little bro’s birthday. And now, it’s time for me to say adieu and get back to those essays!

Posted in 2015 (Europe), Blog

14-15/11/15: #NERD

14/11/15: ThoughtBubble Festival
I had an absolutely fantastic day. Lisa and I got breakfast (my favorite kind of food) before heading to ThoughtBubble Festival (where she so very patiently dealt with me fangirling about the things around me). I met Kate Ashwin, the writer/artist for Widdershins, and got a signed copy of vol1, met Isa & Meg, the artist and writer (respectively) of Namesake and got signed copies of Isa’s comics Jabberwocky and Knot, but the very best part that almost had my crying in joy was meeting Noelle Stevenson, author of Nimona and co-creator of Lumberjanes among other things.

Lisa could completely tell that was the highlight of my day when I was nearly vibrating in excitement while standing in line to get my Lumberjanes Volume 1 signed. At the time we were standing in line, there wasn’t a guarantee that she would be back in time to sign anything before the panel she was doing, so I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to meet her but then boom there she was like a little magical pixie and I probably almost cried. She was so lovely and nice and she even drew April, a character from Lumberjanes, in my book! I told her I was growing my hair out because my name is also April and she said she’d heard of people cutting their hair to be like the Lumberjanes, but never growing it out!

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She drew April in my book!! #crying

A post shared by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

After I got my volume and a print signed, we went to have a look around before getting in line for the panel, which also worked out really well in our favor because we watched a lot of people get turned away because of capacity issues, but we not only were before the venue limit, we also managed to get pretty good seats! Although I hadn’t read many of the comics the creators were talking about (outside of Nimona and Lumberjanes…), I had read enough webcomics to still understand what they were talking about. Lisa was totally zoned out, but after the con we walked and got Thai food before heading through the Leeds Chriskindlmarkt where we picked up some doughnuts before heading back to her place to watch White Christmas. What can I say? It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, toys in every store!

15/11/15: (Old) York

We got up in time to have breakfast in a cute little place in Leeds before catching the train to York. Unfortunately, the train was late due to flooding, but it meant that I had time to grab a Starbucks before we got on the train. Once we got to York, we headed towards the Castle Museum, which meant we had to walk through the town a bit. It was a lot smaller than I was expecting, but it was a very lovely little place, especially with the Christmas decorations everywhere. The museum wasn’t really what I was expecting, as it had exhibits that weren’t related to the castle. In fact, only one of the exhibits was really related to the castle. We had a nice time going through and staying out of the rain, though. Lisa had mentioned a tea place as we were walking through town that was famous for its tea and service and whatnot, so we went and waited in a very long line to have our tea there, but it was worth it.

So close

A photo posted by April (@apparentlyapril) on

Especially since it was Sunday and a lot of things would close well before we had to catch our train back. Once done with tea, we tried to go to the outdoor market, but a combination of the hour and the weather meant that everyone was packing up and there weren’t very many people set up anyways. We decided to head to the train station and try to get an earlier train since we had run out of things to do, but the train service we were taking didn’t have a ticket station and we couldn’t switch it to an earlier train. We ended up waiting in the train station for a couple of hours and when we got back to Lisa’s we hung out for a bit before heading to the bus for the airport. I had decided to spend the night in the airport because it was a better alternative to catching a bus to the airport at 3am…

I made myself an umbrella couch nest for my night in this airport.

A photo posted by April (@apparentlyapril) on

Posted in 2015 (Europe), Blog

18/10/15: Six Weeks Down, Six to Go

Whew! I know, I know, it’s been a while! But, hey, in my defense, I’ve been busy!

So this past week was the half-way mark in the semester. I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone by! I’m at least on top of my courses and assignments in a way I never was in high school or my undergrad. I guess the more school I do, the better I am at it… If I decide to go for a phd, I’ll probably be perfect…. Or at least a master! (Geddit?!)

Anyway, I’m mostly trying to keep on top of my assignments, although I do have a trip to Leeds planned in November and Thanksgiving, as well as a trip home for Christmas and my family’s trip here in Spring! That, and my friend Lisa (who I am visiting in Leeds) is planning on visiting at the end of our Christmas break and we (hopefully) will visit Barcelona at some point! 😀

Well, if anyone can handle that many trips to plan and assignments to finish, I hope it will be me! One of our assignments this term is weekly blog posts, which I have imported to this website and are now in the Management for Information Professionals category!

Happy Halloween (almost!)
🎃 April

Posted in 2015 (Europe), Blog

13/09/15: A Week of Classes and a Trip to Kilkenny

Yeah so tomorrow is Monday. Ok, I admit, Monday is in 33 minutes, but whatever. Last week was my first week of classes and it went really well. I made some friends (pretty easy to do when we all have all of our classes together!) and probably won’t have an anxiety attack getting to class in the morning… Unless I miss the bus, which so far *knock on wood* seems unlikely.

I have a lot of things to do this semester, but that’s ok because I like school. And my coursemates are cool. At least the ones I’ve met thus far. I’ve got a few things planned out, like reunions with my Moy 3 housemates, but I’m most excited to go to the ThoughtBubble comic con in November up in Leeds. Mostly because that’s where Lisa goes to uni and we went from seeing each other every day, to every week, to every few weeks, and now it’s been months! I miss her!

I do still need to send some post cards, so if you want one, you’ll have to let me know! I haven’t gotten any yet, but I will soon. There aren’t many things left on my original checklist, actually.

  • SIM card for phone
  • Boots
  • Groceries
  • uCard (student ID)
  • Bank account
  • Student Leap Card (bus/transit pass)
  • Register with Garda
  • Get shelf for closet
  • Unpack
  • Hang stars & decorate

The last thing I have to do is register with the Garda, but I need an appointment for that and I have until November, anyway. I’m going to talk to the woman at UCD who sets up the appointments for us on Monday, if she doesn’t call me back.

This past weekend I went on a trip to see my friend Eanna in Kilkenny. I re-met a lot of people I knew when I studied abroad here, so it was really nice to see them again. Plus, Kilkenny was a nice little place with a neat castle we took a tour of. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I went to a museum with another person, let alone a group of people, so it was a little strange to not be alone in a museum. It was cold (to me) and I got the sniffles now, but I’ll survive. I’ve got sh*t ta do.

Speaking of sh*t ta do, I’m meant to be doing my reading for tomorrow’s class, but I didn’t. I did get started on my assignments for this week and got my planner all set up and ready to go, though. One of our assignments this semester is to have a blog, but unfortunately I can’t use this one since it has to be solely for the class. Once the class is over, though, I’ll probably migrate everything here. If you want to check it out, you can click here or just wait until it’s migrated here.

Anyway, sleep time, I’ve got an early day tomorrow!

<3 April

Posted in 2015 (Europe), Blog

31/08/15: One Week

I seriously have loved this song since I was a kid, except I always called it “the Chinese Chicken song” because of the lyric “Chickity China the Chinese chicken You have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin'”.

Anyways. I’ve been living in Ireland for a week already (can you believe it?!) and it’s not nearly as tough of an adjustment as the last time I moved abroad. I think it really hit me how much I’ve changed since the last time I lived in Maynooth, but especially since I moved to China, when the taxi driver said he could tell I traveled a lot because I was confident and self-assured and I thought, “Wow, I really am!”

Before I got here, I had a lot of things I needed to get done on my checklist, and thus far it looks like this:

  • SIM card for phone
  • Boots
  • Groceries
  • uCard (student ID)
  • Bank account
  • Student Leap Card (bus/transit pass)
  • Register with Garda
  • Get shelf for closet
  • Unpack
  • Hang stars & decorate

So I think I’ve done a pretty decent job. My suitcases were empty pretty quickly, although I do feel like I’m in perpetual need for a nice nap. I went to Dublin and picked up some boots before going out to the university to have a look around and pick up my ID card.

Classes start 1 week from today and I hope I’m ready. My room is too small for a desk, but the Maynooth University isn’t too far from here and I read somewhere that I can still get access to it somehow? I’ll have to investigate that further… tomorrow. 😛

One thing that makes me sad is that the shows I was watching on Netflix at home aren’t on Irish Netflix. :'(

Dr Reid! I missss hiiiimmmmmm

Once I get my room a bit more tidied and organized (and my stars up!), I’ll try to remember to post pictures somewhere!

Have a great Monday (and week!)
<3 April

Posted in 2015 (Europe)

23/08/14: One Day

My life is currently boiled down to two large suitcases, a small suitcase, a backpack, and a few leftovers. Right now, I want it to boil down to a nap, but that’s a personal travel no-no, since I don’t sleep the night before an over night flight. Especially since this one will land in the morning, which is always my LEAST FAVORITE. The first thing I want to do after I’ve flown for ages is go to sleep, but when I land in a new timezone in the morning (this time at 9:15am) I don’t let myself. So instead, I don’t sleep the night before so I can sleep the entire plane ride.

This is not how I pack, if you were wondering. For one thing, I’m not allowed to bring that many books. My mom says she won’t get rid of any of them, though, so that’s nice.

If only I had a magical suitcase. I don’t, though, so huge shoutout to my mom for starting by “only being here to make sure you stay on task” and then actually helping me pack because we both know I would’ve gotten it done on my own, but not nearly as efficiently or quickly….

So, yeah, today I leave and tomorrow I’ll be there. It’s crazy to think that I was going to Ireland to study abroad three years ago and now I’m going back for my Master’s degree. So much has changed in those three years, most notably me. I could go into detail, but instead I think I’ll quit procrastinating and finish packing.

I hate packing and I hate unpacking, but in the end the travel is worth it.

Posted in 2015 (Europe)

17/08/15: One Week

The summer started about three months ago when I got back to China. Ever since then, I’ve been thinking of my family’s trip to Colorado as the beginning of the end of summer. Along the lines of “Well, when we go to Colorado, that’s when I really need to seriously start getting ready to go.” I was mainly thinking this way because we went to Colorado for almost a week, then shortly after I went on a trip to NYC & DC, then almost immediately after that we went to a family friend’s river property to celebrate his 50th birthday for a weekend, then a week after we got back from the river is when I go to Ireland.

Well, we went to Colorado July 28 and got back from the river yesterday. So, if you did the math and read my rambly summary right, you’d realize that I have one week until I go to Ireland. As of today… Yeah, it’s coming on quickly.

Since my last update, I have (obviously) gone to CO, NYC, DC, and camping. I (naturally) had a blast at all of these places, although for very different reasons as they were all very different trips. The important thing is, of course, that I saw a lot of friends and family and visited a lot of museums. I’m pretty sure I went to more museums in two days in DC than most people visit in two years. I also had my birthday, so my dad and I went to the local museum (Körner’s Folly) after we had tacos y pupusas at a local taquería.

Last night (at 3am), I registered for my courses. Through some kind of Internet Black Magic, I managed to get all (but one, but it turned out ok because I hit the credit limit anyways) of the courses I wanted AND I don’t have class on Tuesdays or Fridays during either semester and no class on Thursdays during semester 2! Seriously, Internet Black Magic. (If you’re interested in which courses I’m taking, there is a page up on my blog that can be found at http://www.ApparentlyApril.com/mlis-courses.)

This week, of course, I am extremely busy with last-minute appointments, packing, cleaning, and saying goodbye to friends. Oh, and sleeping. Maybe.

<3 April
(7 days and counting)

Posted in 2015 (Europe), Blog

25/07/15: One Month!

This post was originally published on my GoFundMe page as Update #12!!

A month left!

That’s right! ONE MONTH. And two of those weeks are traveling!

This month looks like:
Tuesday (28th) – to CO!
Sunday (2nd) – back from CO!
Friday (7th) – to NYC!
Monday (10th) – NYC to DC!
Thursday (13th) – back from DC!
Friday (14th) – BIRTHDAAAAAY
Fri – Sun (14-16) – Camping/birthday event for friend!
Mon (24th) – TO IRELAND

Obviously there is a LOT of cleaning and packing and friends and family time in there. I’m really excited, though. Sometimes I worry a little about whether I’m going to have all my stuff cleaned and packed up and ready to go in the short amount of time I have left, but I have faith in myself. I’ll get it done, I’m sure.

Anyways, I’ve got to go clean more things. XD

Thanks for the support!
<3 April
(30 days and counting)

Posted in 2015 (Europe), Blog

17/06/15: One Month (Plus 2, Depending)

One month (plus 2, depending on how I’m counting time) has passed since I’ve been home. I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone! And to think, I’ve got 2 months left before I’m back in Ireland and back in school!

Since I’ve been home, I’ve been really busy. Between hanging out with family and friends and family friends, volunteering at the library, doctor’s visits, unpacking, cleaning, errands for mom, and other things I’m sure I’m forgetting, this month has just flown past! I’m also going to be tutoring for one of mom’s coworker’s this summer (I’ll start once we get the deets sorted) while getting ready to go to Ireland.

I still have a surprising amount to do. My checklist looks like this:

  • Submit taxes
  • Submit FAFSA
  • Entrance counselling
  • Promissory note
  • Book flight
  • Unshelve books & pick keepers
  • Sell/donate non-keepers
  • Reshelve books
  • Unpack closet, incl. stuff from CO and China
  • Sort through clothes & pick keepers
  • Sell/donate non-keepers
  • Pack!
  • Make and print planner
  • Doctor’s appt
  • Eye doctor’s appt
  • Dentist appt
  • Orthopaedic appt

Some things are in-progress (reshelve books) and some are scheduled (eye and ortho appts), and some I’m just like UGH WHY (cleaning and packing, I’m so tired of it). And that’s just my checklist of things to do while I’m still in the States. I’ve also got things to do once I get to Ireland on….

AUGUST 24th!!!!!!

That’s right! I booked my ticket and actually have a date set! Even though it feels like I’m not making as much progress as I feel I should be, I’m still making a lot more progress than I think.

…If only my books would catalogue and shelve themselves… 😰

Anyways, back to work! I got sh*t ta do!

💙 April

Posted in 2016 onwards, Blog

18/05/15: Home Again

Well, you read that right. I’m home again. Have been for uhhhh 3 days? 2.5 days? Anyways this is day 3. It’s weird to be living with other people again, but nice because now there’s a washer AND a dryer, a dishwasher, and I have a car. Which I haven’t actually driven yet. Soon.

This week is going to be kind of busy because we’re having a party on Friday and my stuff is still all over the floor. It’s a mess and I just put it all in those bags I don’t want to take it all out already! I’ll get it done, though.

I’m also looking for summer job(s) (so if you know anyone who is hiring, please let me know! Or if you need a babysitter or nanny or whatever). So far I’m applying at retail because I don’t know what else to apply for. It’s nice to be able to get on the internet and have it just work (without struggling with a VPN) since most job applications are online now.

The actual trip home was fine. My flight from Beijing left early and my flight from Detroit was on time. I even managed to use the layover (and free WiFi) to file my taxes, update my FAFSA, and send the FAFSA information to UCD. I got all of that done within an hour of being back in the US. You can’t hate my productivity levels, man.

Alright, speaking of productivity levels, I have a very messy room to go take care of.

Don’t forget my GoFundMe is still going on, since I’ll be going to Ireland in August. 😀