Archive for the ‘Commision Work’ Category

Reflections: After posting this topic on a form (http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=45335), I was able to collect popular movie selections for my article on the subject matter. I finished the assignment feeling empowered, yet it was brought to my attention that the article is TOO movie focused. After all, the site is established to serve people. This is a great lesson on getting a second opinion and incorporating an editor’s suggestions before public viewing.

The better article will be posted soon. However, may be you all will get a kick out of the original copy. Here goes!

Movie Night Extravaganza

Everyone loves movies! The best way to become a family with your fellow roommates is to establish Friday’s movie night. Now let’s explore the possibilities.

Action Adventure

Are you in the mood for a thrill ride of high energy events?  Action Adventure is always captivates viewers with an exciting journey. You can witness a world that involves chaotic police chases, powerful super heroes, suave secret agents, and unbelievable robotics. There is never a dull moment, which makes this genre the most fun in group setting.

Movie Suggestions: Indiana Jones, Transformers, Kill Bill, Die Hard, The Avengers, Inception, Hunger Games, Mission Impossible, Casino Royale, Reel Steal, X Men, The Dark Night, V for Vendetta

Children and Family

You don’t have to hide it. Even as adults, we still love magical movies that appeal to our child selves. Children and Family remind us of crucial life lessons dealing with character. For example, many Disney and Pixar films feature protagonists who are down on their luck yet evolve to reach their fullest potential. Also the whimsical atmosphere, innocent humor, and the moralistic story make this genre a great time for all ages.

Movie Suggestions:   Anything Disney, Anything Pixar, Anything Dreamworks, Miyazaki films, The Goonies, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, The Muppet Movie, Big, Coraline, Matilda


Who doesn’t love to laugh? From witty dialogue to slipping on a banana, Comedy supplies a great amount of fresh ideas to tickle your funny bone. If you are ever feeling down, then this genre will easily return you to a positive state of mind.

Movie Suggestions: Shaun of the Dead, Anything Adam Sandler, Date Night, Rush Hour, Forrest Gump, Get Smart, Tropic Thunder, Blades of Glory, Blazing Saddles, Jump 21 Street


Sometimes life throws us lemons, and we have a choice to eat raw pulp or create sweet lemonade. Drama explores the very real emotions that are attached to this game called life. We have loneliness, we have loss, we have debt, we have depression, we have negative influences, and we have failure. This genre reveals the fact that we can hide in darkness or conquer it with light.

Movie Suggestions: A Few Good Men, Eyes Wide Shut, Slumdog Millionaire, American Beauty, Black Swan, August Rush, Amadeus, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Walk the Line

Fantasy and Science Fiction

Fantasy and Science Fiction will take you to a world unlike any other. The genre will break through boundaries of technology and human understanding. Here you will get a delicious taste of fast pace action while questioning your own reality. What will the future be like? Are there other worlds beyond our imaginations? What is magic? Is folklore a reflection of a forgotten past? Open your mind to the possibilities.

Movie Suggestions: Star Wars, Terminator, District 9, Avatar, Serenity, Star Trek, Alien, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Pan’s Labyrinth, Super 8

Horror and Thriller

Can you face your fears? Horror was born from the uncertainty developed from fear. You will witness demons, monsters, ghost, gore, and other unspeakable things that we want to erase from our memories. This genre can mess with your mind, so it’s wise to watch these films with as many people as possible.

Movie Suggestions: The Ring, Psycho, Sinister, Paranormal Activity, Exorcist, Carrie, Scream, The Shining, Orphan, Saw, Blair Witch Project, Shutter Island, Panic Room, 28 Days Later, Nightmare on Elms Street


I must admit. I am not too familiar with this genre. They don’t call it “Independent” for nothing. Of course, there are some titles that a good number of people are aware of. Independent films usual have a documentary feel to them. It almost feels as if the films are a reflection of your life. Weird!

Movie Suggestions: Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Magic of Belle Isle, The Savages, Arranged, Donnie Darko, Lost in Translation, Pulp Fiction, Clerks


I LOVE Romance. Here you will explore the awkward stages of finding your significant other. Each moment forms a stronger bond between the love birds. This genre only makes you fantasize about meeting your ideal match. Hugging, kissing, laughing, and loving between two destined souls. Here love always seems so beautiful. Sometimes it can be quite funny.

Movie Suggestions: Titanic, Ghost, The Princess Bride, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, You’ve Got Mail, 500 Days of Summer, The Proposal, The Notebook

Come on now. Don’t be shy. What is your favorite genre? Let’s go even further. List your top three favorite films from each genre. Once the results are posted, I believe we will see that we all have more in common than we think.

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Dear Blog,

I have not neglected you. I just took a short vacation and enjoyed the fruits of a community blog called My First Apartment. This is a site where you can gain very valuable advice on apartment and roommate hunting as well as great decorations ideas. Click here to view one of my articles.

Below is my sample article that won me the gig.

Getting to Know Your New Family:

Conversational Starters 101 Using Chinese Astrology

By Sabrina Pettis

After carrying heavy boxes to your new home and exchanging friendly introductions with your roomies, the four of you huddle around the television to enjoy an episode of Heroes! (Yes! You read that right.) That night’s episode was epic, and BOOM! You end with a cliffhanger, a cheesy commercial appears, and the awkward silence follows. Waiting, waiting. The four of you say this and that, but the awkwardness remains. Now is the perfect time to break out the Chinese Astrology book.

Astrological interpretations are always best for fascinating conversations. According to Chinese Astrology, I am a fabulous Rabbit and my roomies are the Dog, the Ox, and the Rat. Just to summarize, Rabbit people are very compassionate and idealistic. Dog people are very determined, Ox People are born leaders, and Rat People are strong problem solvers.  Each sign includes a compatibility scale from 1 (worst) to 10 (best), which determines who gets along and who needs to be separated.

Rabbits’ compatibility is 6 with Rats, 6 with Oxen, and 7 with Dogs. A roar of laughter erupted from all the things mentioned about our signs. Surprisingly, I shared a room with the Dog girl. We got along famously. The Rat and Ox girls became best friends. The Rat girl and I had serious tension. We even agreed; it was fate that we did NOT share a room. Maybe this is true, or maybe not. The point is, learning each person’s sign created a fun night of possibilities.

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By Sabrina Pettis
June 7th, 2011


We must admit. We all are drawn to a specific friend, a specific movie, a specific environment, a specific style, and a specific career. But why? It is common for us to stick to what we know, but how do we learn what we know? Of course, our personalities plays a dominate role in our daily decision-making. Where does personality come from? Some will answer that our personality is based on our upbringing. We are just exact replicas of our parents, but I strongly disagree. Do you find it interesting how to siblings, born in the same household, have completely different personalities? Well, may be this phenomenon is more mysterious then we give credit for. May be our very characteristics are based on the astrological alignments or time. Every culture, including ancient Chinese and ancient Egyptian, have pondered this possibility. And I wish to share with you the very basics of their research. In today’s article, I will start with Chinese astrology.

Chinese Astrology is no different from Egyptian astrology where they determine a child’s characteristics, motives, and demeanor through the annual rotation of the sun. It was even believed that astrological experts can determine your past, present, and future from the exact year, month, day, hour, minute, and second you were born. If that wasn’t specific enough, Chinese astrological experts associate the information of your birth to the five elements: earth, water, fire, wood, and metal to better determine your outcome. It is quite fascinating. The minuscule details play a huge role in making you who you are today.

With all that aside, Chinese Astrology also has a practical yet whimsical element. As I mentioned, a child’s characteristics are determined by the rotation of the sun, or simply put, by the year. Each year is represented by an animal, and these animals were chosen based on ancient Chinese farm life. For example, there is the Horse and the Pig on the astrological calendar (zodiac calendar). The only mythical creature on the calendar is the Dragon, which is based on involved folklore in the Chinese culture. Dragons are believed to be the guardians to the spiritual world, so they deserve a spot on the calendar.

There are twelve animals for the twelve zodiac signs. The Rat represents year one and the Pig represents year twelve. These animal years repeat themselves after year twelve, so year thirteen is the Rat again. Get it? If not, it’ll make more since after I break down the main traits of each animal. First let us read the wise old tale of the twelve zodiac signs.


[I am re-telling the classic folklore story from Sabrina Liao’s version.]

Once upon a time in a world just beginning, there was a heavenly Empress who wished to create a calendar for the humans to track time. The Empress told all the animals of the land that there will be a grand race and the first twelve animals to win will become the years and each human child born under their year will carry their characteristics. The animals where excited. Every single animal from the majestic dragon to the tiny tadpoles lined up to participate in the race.

The Empress said, “You must travel over the mountain and across the river to get to the finish line. There will be a party for the twelve fastest animals.” The Rat was worried.

The Rat took one looked at his little feet and knew he would have a problem climbing the huge mountain, and he expressed his concern with his best friend Cat. Cat also worried. The Ox over heard the Rat and expressed how he has bad eyes. Then, the Rat thought of a plan. He said, “Ox, let Cat and I ride your back. We will be your eyes and together we will cross the finish line.”

The race was about to start. The Empress held her hand in the air. “Ready, Get set, Go!” yelled the Empress while she dropped her hand. All the animals raced to the mountain, except the Dragon. The Dragon told the Empress that he had enough time to change the weather for the party since he can easily fly to the finish line.

Days passed and then months passed. The Rat and the Cat can see the finish line. “It is there. Go Straight, Ox!” said the Rat. Ox jumped in the river and the Rat and the Cat held on tight. While the Ox was swimming against the current, the Rat realized he wanted to be first. So in the moment, he pushed Cat into the river and the Cat screamed as he was carried downstream.

The Ox’s head was underwater and did not see what happened. When the Ox was just about to the cross the finish line, the Rat jumped off his back and claimed first place. The Ox didn’t mind and claimed second place.

Moments later, more animals trickled in. The Dragon came in fifth place after he made the weather sunny for the party, and the gleeful Pig came in last. The party finally began. After about an hour, the Cat appeared soaking wet. The Empress told him he was too late, and fury grew within the Cat. Even today, the Cat and the Rat are sworn enemies.


What’s your sign?

[Summarized from Sabrina Liao’s Chinese Astrology book]

1. Rat People – As you can tell from the story, Rat people are born survivors and a problem-solvers. They’re able to use their intellect for any situation and they usually end up at the top. Rat people can turn competitive and be calculating, but they are still very communal. Their family comes first.

2. Ox People – These are hard-working and reliable people. They are also equip to be born leaders. Ox people do have the tendency to be to be stubborn, but that’s because they know their way is the right way. Though their gentle nature makes for that. Ox people are the type of people you can trust.

3. Tiger People – Fear is not in the Tiger’s vocabulary. Confident and assertive are natural traits for them. This can cause Tiger people to be impatient, but their natural charm allows them to enjoy many rewards. They are very energetic, and fun. Tiger People definitely stand out within a crowd.

4. Rabbit People – One of the luckiest signs in the group and toppled with a compassionate nature. These peace-loving people are accommodating and trustworthy. They can be very passive in the heat of confrontation, but like the Rat, Rabbit People are communal. Also, they love to show off their successes and talents.

5. Dragon People – You know a Dragon Person when you see one. Being the only mythical creature, people born under this sign are blessed with natural appeal. Being the luckiest sign of them all and born perfectionists, Dragon people usually live an extravagant lifestyle to feed their unique style.

6. Snake People – Intelligence is the key attribute for Snake People. They are also deep thinkers and know their decisions are always right. They are also competitive and know how to show off in a way that’s subtle and appreciated.

7. Horse People – These People must live freely. They ride life’s spontaneous events and absorb all of those experiences with passion and charisma. Since they operate through feeling, they can be emotionally detached, but their independence and excitement still make them alluring.

8. Sheep People – Sheep People were born in a dream and will do everything in their power to make that dream come true. As a result, they are extremely creative but can be unreliable with tasks they feel are not of importance to them. Creativity, compassion, and style best sums up their characters.

9. Monkey People – The fun is here! Monkey People are fun loving and highly social. Monkeys are clever and mastered the art of conversation and will prove it to you will long conversations, which can be center around themselves. They are not that lucky, but their optimism and natural charm makes up for that.

10. Rooster People – Rooster People are little peacocks because they love to put on a show and are the most eccentric of all signs. They love to hold extravagant parties with many unique trinkets. Rooster can be frank about their feelings and live their lives in the fast lane. No sleeping for the Rooster.

11. Dog People – Being the most loyal sign in the group, Dog People very caring and helpful to whoever they call family or friends. Dogs are also frank and see the world in black and white. They are best motivated when there is a goal in mind. They will be the first to run and achieve the goal.

12. Pig People – The party has begun! The Pig sign is one of the most social signs in the group. They love people and still caring and considerate. Pig People do tend to indulged too much, but most would say they deserve it. They are honest People who will go out of their way to help you.


This is Chinese Astrology in a nutshell. However, if this philosophy doesn’t work for you, be patient. May be Egyptian philosophy is more fitting with your beliefs.


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February 5, 2011

You know, a high-status business typhoon once told me, “young business owners are a myth.” Apparently this person fails to realize that all myths are based on reality.

Tina Harris is a young entrepreneur who created her own online empire called Stacie’s Gifts, and get this! She started only two years ago and is still standing strong as we continue into the New Year. Tina has huge plans for her stylish jewelry boutique, and today I am excited to hear her plans as I interview her on how she created her success story. (All you aspiring business owner; you should definitely take note.)  

Sabrina: What inspired you to be your own boss, and how did it impact your current lifestyle for the better?

Tina: First, I decided to create something for myself while still young.  I wanted to form my own source of income, which would ultimately give me an entrepreneur skill-set that I would be able to use when older.  Second, I had fun both being a local and online merchant. 

From [my experience], I learned there is no security in working for someone else. Going into business with almost no clue, I took a blind leap of faith and have not looked back since.  My security is based on my own efforts and merits, not based on someone else’s business decision.


Sabrina: Since you are a service company, what is your customer service motto and how do you initiate it?

Tina: Having worked in customer service for over 10 years, this was not too hard to figure out.  I always put the customers first and make it easy for them to do business.  Customers want reasonable prices, open communication, and a secure shopping experience.  My goal for this company is actually initiated prior to the customers placing their orders.  In addition to having free 24/7 access to the website, customers have the same access to our social media sites.  This provides direct access to communicate with [the staff of Stacie’s Gifts] as well as information that can be used to help them shop online and offline. 

Sabrina: What type of business owner are you, and how do you set yourself apart from other owners?

Tina: You can say I am a business owner that operates in two worlds.  There is the virtual online world consisting of our website and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and there is the “real world” where we also service our local customers.  As most business owners choose between marketing online or locally, I have been able to strike a balance between both worlds. 

Our size gives us an advantage [statement referring to Tina and her staff members].  We have ample opportunity to meet our customers face-to-face, and/or simply form a connection online.


Sabrina: Every business starts with an idea, but what is the first step that you recommend for aspiring men and women to take when trying to manifest that idea into an actual business? 

Tina: Now is actually a good time to start a business.  In this recession, it appears that the business world is realigning itself all the way from the fortune 500 companies to the “mom and pop” establishments.  My recommendation is to always start with a written plan.  Test your plans, and adjust them accordingly.  Have your plan reviewed by professional consultants.  Know that there are no short-cuts.  There is no fast track or tricks of the trade.  If starting and growing an enterprise were easy, everyone would do it.  Mentally prepare yourself for an adventurous journey ahead.

Sabrina: What are the three most important aspects of a successful business?

Tina:  Simply put:

One – A written plan with attainable goals and objectives.  Write down what you want to accomplish and how you plan to accomplish your goals in detail.  Keep it simple.

Two –  Happy customers that keep coming back and can put out the good word about your business.  Learn how to provide good customer service.

Three – A high degree of self-discipline and superb organization skills.

Sabrina: Your website is very straightforward, yet very bright and welcoming. How important is design and marketing for a new business, and what is the best way to expose the business to the public on a tight budget?

Tina: First impressions are very important, but there is also a bigger picture.  The best way to expose your business online is getting found.  Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, and even Ning sites are an excellent way to get your site found on an upstart budget.  Search engines like Google provide many free and low cost methods of getting your website out to the public.

Second, make sure your site is easy to navigate.

Last, make sure the site terms are straightforward enough for everyone to understand.

Sabrina: Loving what you sell is crucial for credibility and success. What are your favorite items in your inventory and why?

Tina: There are a few items that are near and dear to me.  The first is the beige Pashmina.  Of course, I own one of my own.  I can wear it with almost anything, and it is versatile enough to wear year round.  The Pashmina is a piece I personally wear on a regular basis.  The second is the Dragonfly necklace.  I love wearing the Dragonfly necklace as I can always expect a compliment, or it can spark up a conversation with someone I have never met before.  It also helps breaks the ice with prospective local customers who end up buying the very same necklace as a gift.

Sabrina: What is your ultimate goal with Stacie’s Gifts?

Tina: The ultimate goal of StaciesGifts.com is to create a secure future for myself and loved ones by becoming the premium one stop shop for gifts and women’s accessories online.  Our purpose is to provide gift items for any occasion such as weddings, anniversaries, holidays, and corporate events at the most affordable prices.

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By Sabrina Pettis

October 21, 2009


Who says bugs can’t make a stylish necklace? Who says bugs can’t make a desirable key chain? Stacie’s Gifts boldly ask these questions as this small jewelry company produces a strangely beautiful collection of insect accessories.

Red Bean and Beetle Necklace Just look at the beetle in the Red Bean and Beetle Necklace from the Stacie’s Gifts online store. The crystallized beetle presents a gorgeous hue of blue that a genuine sapphire can’t even match. And the beetle’s color is perfectly complimented by the rich ruby glow of the bean above. Spiny Spider Key ChainAlso The spider in the Spiny Spider Key Chain presents the same vibrant array of colors as the beetle. You see, each item in this collection portrays the insects in an elegant manner making them appropriate for a night out in the town or a picnic at the park.

Now one would think Stacie’s Gifts’ unconventional jewelry would cost you a week’s pay, right? Wrong! Each product in their collection is about 9 US dollars. For the price of a movie ticket or a bag of Starbucks ground coffee, you can purchase one of these extraordinary charms.

I am sure there are a few of you who despise bugs, and no one or nothing will get you to view them differently. No worries! The creative members of Stacie’s Gifts are a step ahead of you. They produced an alternative option… Real Flower NecklaceCRYSTALLIZED FLOWERS! Everyone loves flowers, and they’re priced at the same low price as the insect pieces.

Go check out Stacie’s Gifts’ bug collection and more at www.staciesgifts.com. They may be new to the jewelry market, but they’re building a strong reputation for themselves.  So keep your eyes open for what they have to offer next.

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