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  1. Prince
  2. Woody Allen (“OLD Woody Allen.”)
  3. Los Angeles
  4. 90′s Hip Hop
  5. Vintage Painted Signage
  6. Dogs
  7. Vodka + Sparkling Grapefruit
  8. Road trips
  9. Dancing
  10. Making playlists
  11. the beach
  12. cheese.

Nikki is the powerful lady behind my most recent aesthetic transformation, and I’ve been hounding her for a list for months! Looking at it now, it feels perfectly Nikki, perfectly Los Angeles, and perfectly American–right on time for the 4th of July weekend.

If you live in Los Angeles, go see Nikki for new hair and bitchen’ company. In the words of my wise friend, Jennifer, “Change your hair, change your life.”

After: Whoa, baby! See what I mean?

Before: blah. My life suuuucks.








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an aqua and coral colour palette

terrible jokes

hard cheeses



tall iced non-fat five-pump chai from Starbucks



the smell of grapefruit (but not the taste)


*Emily was the awesome photographer at my friends, Mark and Valerie‘s, wedding! I was the officiant. It was so fun! See some shots over at the blog.


Also posted in Food | 1 Comment

  1. You Were Always on My Mind, Elvis Presley
  2. Koh Gen Do -#001
  3. The Elegance of the Hedgehog
  4. BIC Crystal Ballpoint Pens
  5. Creme Abricot – Christian Dior
  6. Veuve Cliquot
  7. Tina Turner
  8. Eiffel Tower
  9. Coco Chanel
  10. Bichon/Poodles

Laura Westmoreland     Los Angeles, CA
Also posted in Art, Books, Food, Music, People | Leave a comment

  1. Candy Land
  2. Chutes and Ladders
  3. Checkers
  4. Blockus
  5. Pictionary
  6. jump rope
  7. Hopscotch

“this is a list of games I wish the kids would play instead of throwing tantrums.”

Joelle     Petaluma, CA
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Inspiration as Procrastination

i acquired a new computer since my last post and there is a camera on it. my 1st computer self picture ever.


These are the things I am supposed to be doing right now:

  1. finishing the dishes
  2. calling health insurance (i hate you i need you i’m sorry i’m not sorry) for the hundredth time so i can be on hold for the rest of the evening.
  3. opening mail
  4. doing homework, which means at least looking at it.
  5. working on a writing deadline (t-minus 6 days, eeep.)

INSTEAD: here i am.

I am scrolling through the magpie list, loving it, remembering it, longing for it again! so i am sitting here at my computer, thinking that IF i must procrastinate (and i must.) than this is how: by stirring and embracing that which started all of this in the first place. INSPIRATION.

So much has happened this past year, so much that I am thinking maybe I don’t need to go over it piece by moment for anyone. The point is, it was all mostly good things, and even when it wasn’t a good thing happening, it’s lead me here. You know? And these days I’m feeling pretty happy. And pretty happy is the most happy I have ever felt in my whole life. starting the Magpie list was the beginning of that. So I’m trying to find the more of that, the more of the things that keep me pretty happy.

Today, though, like today today, despite the “pretty happy” part, I am feeling heavy. I feel FULL of learning (philosophy and psychology, ooof.) and sadnessanger (Dylan Farrow) and sadnessanger (Philip Seymour Hoffman). I feel worried, lately, about the internet and our growing dependence on technology, and confused about the NSA, and worried about health insurance (see above reference to phone calls and hold times) and the future of the earth which is the future of my children.

Before I was pretty happy, these kind of whirlpools would suck me right down. Overwhelm put me right into my bed under the covers, out in the world acting angry at the wrong people, crying over spilled milk, maybe chewing my fingernails, maybe drinking too much, definitely thinking too much.

Right now I’m not in bed or snapping at the wrong people; I’m just eating some chocolate frosting, drinking some mint tea and wiping the dust off The Magpie List.

I feel like this note could get terribly dreadfully long if I were to explain right here and now all the new ideas/questions/stories  I have for The Magpie List and there are other things I’m supposed to be doing (see list, above.) So I’m going to stop here.

…But I will say this: perfectionism has no place here. So if you stay a part of the magpie community (please do!) be ready for lower case i’s. Be ready for blog posts that have little theme or “through-line.” And be ready to be inspired.




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I’m Still Here.


I am totally here. But, as you can see, The Magpie List is on a bit of a hiatus. I love every single aspect of this project, but find my life fuller and more busy than ever before. Starting TML showed me how much I can do and how far I can go with connections and knowledge. I can’t find enough hours in the day to read all the wonderful books you’ve recommended, watch the movies! Hear the songs! And all of it inspired me to reach even higher: I’m in my first year in a graduate school program, I started free-lance writing, I started teaching!

It is ironic that the very thing that has inspired my life must take a back-burner in it, but I think you (dear readers) understand.

Keep on collecting and sharing treasures. I’ll pop in here again soon.

love and shiny buttons,

Eve Sturges

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  1. Jamie’s Italy (cooook booook!!!)
  2. The Princess Bride
  3. Star Wars
  4. Conan (the books)
  5. Conan the Barbarian (the movie)
  6. Mystery Science Theater 3000 (does that count?)
  7. Any book by Andrea Camilleri
  8. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
  9. Anything by P.G. Wodehouse, especially if it has Jeeves in it
  10. All the Monty Python movies
  11. Billy Madison
  12. Braveheart
  13. Yojimbo

Gio plays a mean upright bass with The Brother’s Comatose; their new album is coming out…any…day…now! Check them out, have listen!

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  1. Jeans (from Jnco to James, I’ve loved them all)
  2. Steak (thick cut, rib-eye, butter, A1 on the side)
  3. Italian movies (The Conformist, Blow Up, Caro Diario)
  4. Bernice Bobs Her HairW and all the short stories of  F. SCOTT FITZGERALD
  5. Paul Simon’s Graceland album
  6. Pearl Jam (I am serious, ages 12 – 20)
  7. The Wonder YearsW
  8. The Baby-Sitter’s Club #1 /Sweet Valley High #1: Double Love books (let’s be honest, they are the same thing)
  9. Summer Camp
  10. Dracula (Bram Stoker’s, Coppola’s, Sesame Street‘s)
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  1. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley
  2. There Will Be Blood
  3. The Fragile, Nine Inch Nails
  4. the smell of new pointe shoes
  5. When the Stars Go Blue” Ryan Adams
  6. Remarks of Senator Barack Obama at the New Hampshire primary, Jan. 8, 2008
  7. The Big Lebowski
  8. Little Earthquakes, Tori Amos
  9. A Single Man
  10. an empty dance studio


Claire Richardson   Dancer   Los Angeles, CA
Also posted in Books, Movies, Music, Politics | Leave a comment

  1. The Best of The Guess Who
  2. Jethro Tull, watching Ian Anderson rock on the flute with one leg
  3. Andrea Bocelli, “Time to Say Goodbye“ …goosebumps everytime
  4. Night, Eli Wiesel (listening to him makes me want to hop a flight and audit his classes)
  5. Ayaan Hirsi AliW, it took guts for her to write books about Islam
  6. Memento …over and over and over
  7. Original Japanese Iron Chef
  8. Take a Little Piece of my Heart,” Janis JoplinW
  9. Creating dishes from food with the people who grew it around the table.
  10. When a great chef asks, ”is there anything you don’t like? may I cook for you?”


Julie Ridlon   Chef   St. Louis, MO
Also posted in Movies, Music, People, TV | Leave a comment

  1. Howard Roarke from The Fountainhead by Ayn RandW
  2. Iceland
  3. “The Birth and Death of a Day,” Explosions in the Sky
  4. The Moon
  5. Fogged up Car Windows at 4 am
  6. Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury
  7. Two legs to walk with
  8. Ice cream
  9. Road Trips
  10. Water

“1,2,3, and 6 are highly recommended.  And as the teacher in Perks of Being a Wallfower said to Charlie when he handed him The Fountainhead: “Be a filter, not a sponge”


Alessio Tummolillo   Student/Writer   Lugano, Switzerland
Also posted in Books, Food, Music | Leave a comment

  1. As A Man Thinketh, James Allen
  2. “A Change is Gonna Come” Sam Cooke*
  3. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller
  4. Acua Verde Nachos
  5. Avocados
  6. 21, Adele
  7. Aesop Rock
  8. Amazon Kindles
  9. NY Times Crossword Puzzles
  10. Shameless on Showtime

*follow the link to listen to Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come!”

“Eve, you go girl.”


Christian   Student   Seattle, WA
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  1. Blonde on Blonde, Bob Dylan
  2. Bob Dylan
  3. Shane
  4. The Maltese Falcon
  5. The Last Waltz
  6. Astral Weeks, Van Morrison
  7. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
  8. The Great Gatsby
  9. Flight of the Conchords
  10. King Lear,* William Shakespeare
  11. James Taylor

*follow that link to read King Lear in its entirety. You know you want to!

J. Altman   Lawyer   Los Angeles, CA
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  1. ferries (the boat kind)
  2. The Big Lebowski
  3. PoutineW
  4. Brown aleW
  5. disc golf
  6. libraries
  7. Irish Breakfast teaW
  8. Bill Bryson
  9. Ella Fitzgerald
  10. bikes
Reid   Student   Portland, OR
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  1. Lucille BallW
  2. getting haircuts
  3. The Black Keys
  4. Within You Without You,” The BeatlesW
  5. Do Right Woman,”  Aretha Franklin
  6. Julie TaymorW
  7. NPR
  9. Michael Pollan
  10. Michel FoucaultW

Hey! Mara is my cousin; read about “Family 1st Friday’s” in The Magpie Blog!

Mara Grubb   Student   Bellingham, WA
Also posted in Books, Music, People, Radio | Leave a comment

  1. All music by Seal
  2. Favorite Nigerian Food: Jollof Rice + Dodo (fried plantain) with grilled chicken
  3. Stinson Beach, CA
  4. Cuba (Cayo CoCoW!)
  5. Propeller Head Music Software
  6. Volkswagon (“Love my Jetta”)
  7. Transformers  (and the soundtracks)
  8. Facebook  (every so often that is!)
  9. Duke University
  10. Apple iPad
Rotimi Thomas   Graduate Student   Durham, NC
Also posted in Food, Movies, Music | Leave a comment

  1. The Paladium in LA in the 40′s, hosted all the big bands (“I was there on many weekends:  Glen MillerW, Tommy DorseyW, Benny GoodmanW, Artie ShawW“)
  2. Songs: “I’ll Never Smile Again;”  ”Begin the Beguine;” (“I’m still trying to play my clarinet like A. Shaw! ha!”)
  3. I was president of UCLA’s Men’s Glee Club in ’47 – ’48 and we did Shows in Royce Hall – My American Cousin and H.M.S. Pinafore! Great fun!
  4. Boy’s Life magazine
  5. Building – Tree house and also digging a cave in a vacant lot!
  6. Body Surfing in Santa Monica Bay and skating on local sidewalks
  7. getting a bicycle at Christmas
  8. Travel – we drove to New York and back 1936-37 (Dad’s work took us there and back)

I thought it would be nice to post my grandfather’s  list for Family 1st Fridays in July; a  World War II Veteran, he is  still inspiring in a myriad of ways!  Thanks, Granddad, for supporting the Magpie List!

Raymond Sturges   Retired   Roseville, CA
Also posted in Music, People, Theater | Leave a comment

  1. Bob Dylan’s 49th Beard,” WilcoW
  2. The Dark Is Rising, Susan Cooper
  3. German
  4. Danish Butter Cookies
  5. BockW
  6. Devotion to the Cross, Pedro Calderon de la BarcaW
  7. Scotland Yard Family Game
  8. Contact Mics
  9. Mille Bornes Card Game
  10. Madame GeorgeVan MorrisonW


Rob Little     San Francisco, CA
Also posted in Books, Food, Music, Theater | Leave a comment

  1. My daughter
  2. A Love Supreme, by John Coltrane
  3. Travels with My Aunt, by Graham Greene
  4. Mondovino
  5. Good Mexican food
  6. The smell of the sea on a hot and stormy day
  7. Amadeus
  8. Five Leaves Left, Nick Drake
  9. The White Ribbon
  10. BaliW


James   Fixer   London, UK
Also posted in Books, Movies, Music | Leave a comment

  1. Languages
  2. The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffeneger
  3. One,”  U2*
  4. The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  5. Changes,” Tupac ShakurW
  6. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
  7. Livin’ on a Prayer,” Bon Jovi
  8. Sex and the City (the show!)
  9. The Memoirs of Cleopatra, Margaret George
  10. Henry and June, Anais Nin

*Follow the link to hear “One,” by U2, or access the complete album, Achtung Baby, here.

Also posted in Books, Music, TV | Leave a comment
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