feuervogel: (michel)
Hi all!

I finally have time to look into the problem of where to stay while I'm doing my practicum in Mannheim in February.

There's a place called Bed & Breakfast Mannheim which gets mediocre reviews on TripAdvisor. It's apparently an unregistered hotel, which makes me kind of ~_~. It might not be bad (and it's cheap -- two weeks would be under 500€ (about $650 at today's exchange rate)) but some reviews said it was dirty and there's mold in the shower, or the beds have hard foam mattresses. So I don't know.

So I looked on airbnb, and there are a couple rooms at similar reasonable prices, but I have no idea how I feel about using that service. The first one (a WG) is further from the GI, but about 20 minutes by transit (if I could take a direct route by foot or bike, it wouldn't be bad, but it looks like highways). The second one is closer and more expensive.

Do any of you have experience with airbnb? Is it worth it to stay in the closer flat, or should I take my chances in the WG? The flat has more reviews, too. It would run me about $760--more than the B&B (which is really a furnished room with shared bathroom & kitchen).

Mobile phones

I'm trying to figure out what to do about my phone. I want to use a German SIM in an old phone, but I'm having problems with my existing phones. My HTC One X would be great, except a) it doesn't read SIM cards anymore (which is why I have a One now) and b) it's technically still under contract, so I'm not sure AT&T will let me unlock it. I have my old Captivate, but a) it's running a ROM, so I'd need to do a factory reset to unlock it, b) it's a piece of shit, and c) it uses the old, large-size SIM cards (2.5x1.5cm/1x5/8in). I have no idea if you can still even buy those.

I want to get a prepaid, and it looks like T-Mobile has the best plan (Xtra Call; the triple whatever one would be great but it looks like it's a monthly service, and I just want to put money on the card as needed), though Vodafone has highly competitive rates. Both providers have prepaid phones you can buy, but I'd rather avoid buying yet another goddamn phone. Especially because the ones that use the non-monthly service are crappy old phones just like the ones I already have. (Like my old RAZR flip phone. Just newer.) I'm going to be back in Germany in June, so I can use it then as well.

The main thing I can't figure out is if the XtraCall option is available in the old, large-format SIM (not micro- or nano-) card. Do any of you know? Or can you wander over to a Telekom shop and ask? (Or a Vodafone shop for the CallYa Talk & SMS one.)

Also, do the minutes/does the money expire?

Are there better plans with better coverage? How does o2 compare, for example?

(Also what is with all this Denglish? Oy.)
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Anyone who's been in my house and seen the 4th bedroom/bonus room/Ben's room is probably familiar with the massive clutter on the floor in front of the bookshelves. Today I decided to go through it. I was looking for something (the piece of paper that proves I de-registered with the police in Marburg in 1997, which I may need to take to the police in Berlin in the event Operation: Move to Berlin actually happens). I didn't find it, though I found the paper I wrote for the end of the literature class I took, the Scheine from the classes I took in Marburg, and all of my notes (in German), a bunch of xeroxed things from my classes at JC, all the papers from the non-chemistry classes I took in Marburg, a stack of fanzines, and my notes from The Medieval Mind (fall 1995 I think).

I had trouble reaching that shelf because of all the books stacked in front of it, but also because of the huge plastic bag (with giant hole in the bottom which Claire chewed) full of calendars and assorted other things. So I sorted through that, then went through my shelves and put books away. Some I pulled off because I didn't like them all that much; some I pulled unread. I have a few non-fiction health policy books, and I've attempted to read one of them. It's really damn dry, and I'm never going to get through it. Then I pulled more books and shelved more books, and I have a couple boxes of books I would like to sell. I'll catalog them and list them here so my friends can have first dibs.

Anyway, now it's possible to walk up to my second bookshelf. Nonfiction, Literatyoor, foreign language, and reference are still pretty inaccessible (or require a bit of gymnastic ability), but my genre fiction is reachable. And double-stacked in some places. I really need to scan the bazillion old photos in boxes and albums, and possibly scan the negatives. My old Mini has the scanner drivers and photoshop elements; I have no idea if the MacBook can talk to the scanner. I can boot up the Mini and play with that at some point.

I'm not sure what to do with them after that: list on ebay or sell through Amazon. Does anyone have experience with either of these? I listed some stuff on ebay once, like 5 years ago, but I've never done that on Amazon.

Notes on the beer festival later!
feuervogel: (hurra bier!)
I've been asked to put together an outline for the Art Track at the con I'm working on (as literary director) because my Literature Track outline was that fucking awesome, apparently. I was able to foist my assignment to make the Media Track outline onto its new director, [livejournal.com profile] kirinn. Mwahaha.

There's one problem: I have no idea what artists want in a track! That's where you come in. What sort of panels would you like to attend at a small (~200 people) con? Digital art? How to sell/market your art? Indie publishing? How not to get ripped off by printers?

The con director's original plan was to have the art track include comics (and webcomics), but the Art Director is strongly opposed to that, so no comics or webcomics suggestions please. The art track includes the art show and artists alley.

Thanks in advance!
feuervogel: (writing)
I've been poking around on the net, and a lot of the advice boils down to things like "set up separate business & personal accounts" and "keep track of EVERYTHING" and "in order for the IRS to consider it a business, not a hobby, you have to turn a profit 3 years out of 5."

Will I need to do all that crap when I start making royalty-based sales? I got the payment for Retro Spec, and it was $24 ($23 after paypal fees), which isn't enough to report as income.

Of course, the other main piece of advice is "when in doubt, ask your accountant." I, of course, don't *have* an accountant.

I know some of y'all are freelancers or self-employed; how do you do it?
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)

Anybody have a good, high-res, recent picture of me? Preferably semi-professional at least (not making faces, drunk, etc. Probably also not in costume.) Ben can't take photos of me to save his life.

I'm gonna check con pictures on the other computer, because I don't have any on this one. And of the vacation pictures most recent, either I've got a weird look on my face or they're blurry.
feuervogel: (writing)
Let me know how this sounds: too boring? I need to send it in by 3 pm today.

C.D. Covington is a writer, costumer, crocheter, and Teutophile. Her first published short story, “U8: Alexanderplatz (1989),” will appear in RetroSpec: Tales of Fantasy and Nostalgia, in September 2010. She lives in the Triangle and is a member of Broad Universe and the Outer Alliance. She blogs at obligatedtoexaggerate.blogspot.com.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Whether to take my netbook (of the sketchy battery and hard drive with 1 GB of free space, but very small and lightweight) or the MacBook (with good battery and a hard drive with 40+ GB free, but bigger and fucking heavy).

The netbook does almost everything I need. It connects to the internet, and I can download pictures from my camera. I don't expect to be able to write much while I'm there, also I don't really want to spend a lot of time thinking in English. The only thing it can't do is handle flash. I can't play Farmville on it (or any stupid flash games), and trying to play a youtube video took me to a "download this codec pack" thing, which then crashed the browser without fully installing. [Also, I need to update the distro, but there's not enough free space on the disk to download the image. Derp. No, I don't have a multi-GB USB key to run the computer off of. If I did, I probably would.]

Now, I can live a month without videos; I don't watch them as it is. But ... FARMVILLE, Y'ALL.

The MacBook is Mac-tastic, and it works, but it weighs like 3 lbs or more, and lugging it around in my backpack is heavy.

They both have their pluses and minuses (another big minus for the netbook is its lack of a CD drive, so I couldn't rip any new CDs I bought, or play them if my flatmate doesn't have a communal stereo.)

I need to decide right quick, you know? My dear invisible friends, what do y'all think?
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Car-related: I had an oil change done a few weeks ago, and they didn't charge me for synthetic oil, so I assume they used 'regular.' Despite the sticker on my engine that says "only use synthetic oil of this particular variety." Will this affect my car in a negative way? For those of you who don't know, my car is a 2005 Mini Cooper S (about to hit 50k miles).


Can I write my cell phone off as a work-related expense? It's not required for my job, but I use it as my primary telephone contact number, and I periodically send email from my phone (using my mobile data plan.) I don't know what the applicable tax law is, or if there's some sort of percentage-based guideline.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
- 1920s & 1930s, absinthe, sloe gin may have been popular. Absinthe was never banned in Germany.
(google: popular drinks 1930s germany (eng and ger, variations thereon); wikipedia (de & en) pages on alcohols)

? Would young women (age 19 or so) have drunk these things?

? Cabarets: would young women have gone to them? Would it have been weird? (google & wikipedia: cabaret/kabarett, who went to cabarets 1920s) Google says that by the 1920s, burlesques were just strip clubs basically. So I want cabarets, I'm pretty sure.

? How were families of war deceased notified? Bodies were buried at the front (I gather), so were personal effects sent home, and did they get posthumous medals? I mainly want to know about the German customs.
(google: world war 1 deceased notification families german/ erste weltkrieg toten familie notifiziert)

? What were mourning customs in 1930 Berlin? (google: funeral/mourning customs germany/berlin/lutheran 1930; trauergebräuche 1930)

? What did German soldiers carry for luck in WW1? (Google: luck charm world war 1; erster weltkrieg amulett/talisman/Glücksbringer) (The last one there got me a link to a lottery page. :P )


2 Apr 2009 03:34 pm
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
1. Do I want to sign up over there? I'm not hugely fandom-oriented, so that's not a draw, but I like the idea of watching vs trusted reading lists.

2. Do I want to sign up with OpenID using my blogspot ID, or do I want to wait for an invite code?

3. If I use OpenID, do I want to import everything from here, or do I want to start fresh?

4. The name's kinda ... meh. No 'journal' in it. Get a lot of "WTH? Wazzat mean?"


ETA: Poking around, this post kind of gets at why I want to start over elsewhere. I mean, yeah, I've got my blogspot blog, but you just don't get the chummy things like in LJ. Well, I've got till the end of the month before I have to decide what I want to do...


feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)

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