“Get busy living or get busy dying.” The duck recited this quote from the 1994 drama The Shawshank Redemption perfectly when I suggested taking one more walking break within an already painfully slow jog. In the past few weeks, the duck’s forceful nudges have decreased and given way to a new kind of behavior. Disappointed by my lack of fitness, the duck began acting as my “very motivational” fitness instructor. So that I, too, “can one day feel like Andy Dufresne after – SPOILER ALERT! – he finally makes his escape from prison.” When I asked, “how?” the duck jumped into the shower, ready to recreate the infamous rain scene. Before the duck could create a splashy mess, I offered to convert what I anticipated the duck’s re-enactment to look like into a digital – and dry! – movie still duckification, instead. The duck reluctantly agreed.
The more I look at this drawing, the more I think I averted a calamitous, likely costly, situation. The duck disagrees. Either way, since it takes Andy Dufresne – MINI SPOILER – 19 years to escape, doesn’t this mean I have 19 years to become fit? And by that time, the targets for an age-appropriate fitness level will be more attainable (I learned recently that my jog times are like those of an average 64-99-year-old woman. So, if I can’t improve, I only have to persevere, and time will do its magic).
What are your favorite movie scenes to imagine yourself in? Do you know someone (maybe a friend?) who has escaped from prison, literal or metaphorical?
“…Froduck Baggins. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to,” the duck recounted before announcing the first cookie break in the 4-hour-long retelling of a recent dream. I was extremely relieved when I realized the duck had dreamed of having friendly conversations with Gandalf, one of the safer fictional friend options. In fact, I was so relieved that I decided to base my next movie still duckification on the duck’s shot-by-shot retelling of Peter Jackson’s 2001 adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings:The Fellowship of the Ring, “but with a protagonist with the right amount of feathers.”
This was initially meant to be a quick sketch to base the duckification on (hence the weird anatomy). Then, I realized the sketch had magically become the picture (and the anatomy an “abstract choice”). Besides the slight divergence in plumage, there’s another crucial difference between a standard hobbit and a cheeky duck: fingers. The duck has none. Therefore, in the “clearly superior version” of the story about “leaving home to kick butt, featuring a true protagonist with a neat ring,” said ring actually needs to be held tight with a wing-palm to work. According to the duck, “that whole thing about rings going on fingers was just a mistranslation of the instructions booklet that came with the first ring ever made by Sir Ringleton Duck III, one of my many distinguished ancestors. Thence, I should know!” So, yeah, I’ll leave it at that. I’m just glad the duck seems to have obtained a massive confidence boost after that whole letter-writing debacle. Also, I think the quote at the beginning of this post would be a perfect point to add to any New Year’s Resolutionslist. In fact, we’re still working on our punctuality streak – one slow jog at a time.
… is what the duck interjects every time the bedroom ceiling rose petal sequence from American Beauty (1999) comes up in our discussions about iconic movie stills. “Sure, red roses act as a symbol in this film. But why would anyone in their right mind imagine someone else in a sea of flowers when they could very well imagine themselves submerged in cookies (or pretzels, or chocolate, or ice cream)?!” Even though I think the red rose petals make for a compelling image that, I’m almost certain, is exponentially more famous than the movie itself, I agree with the duck. My enlightening daydreams would undoubtedly be related to food rather than plants. After already putting Cat, my pretzel-loving, hat-selling dog, into my preferred daydream scenario, I decided to grant the duck’s wish by recreating the least messy of the duck’s suggested superior dream sequences. I present to you today’s movie still duckification (in the style of Cat’s very inspirational story)*:
Thankfully, the duck’s days of spending every free minute in the bathtub among tubs of ice cream are over (hopefully, we won’t feel this hot next summer). So, swimming in a sea of ice cream has gone back to exclusively being daydreaming material, like the sea of cookies that, the duck has assured me, does occasionally appear on our ceiling when the duck is going to bed slightly hungry (which is the duck’s regular state). What do you like to swim in when you daydream?
“… yourself up with your special gift- of being a yoga master,” is what the duck imagines Yoda saying in our latest movie still duckification. At the end of last month’s photo post, I hinted at our seagull obsession being consolidated by a song. Well, the duck and I have had this song stuck in our heads (again!) ever since. Therefore, this earworm, and the movie it’s based on, are the subject of my latest artistic endeavor. I speak, of course, about The Empire Strikes Back and the Bad Lip Reading hit “SEAGULLS! (Stop it now).” At first, I wanted to draw the duck being a backpack while I run (because that’s how most of ourslow jogs go). But the duck insisted the scene with Luke standing on one hand, attempting to use the force to move a pile of rocks, was clearly stolen from the duck’s real life as an expert yogi who doesn’t (telekinetically) lift rocks (yet) but does a single-handed handstand with such ease that force-like powers must be involved somehow (ignore the fact that the duck was born after 1980). Anyway, this is how, according to the duck, Star Wars: Episode V should have looked if they had cast the role of Luke “correctly”:
I tried to go with a digital watercolor look, which, I’m afraid, is just as mediocre as my last attempt at using real (cheap) watercolors. Still, I couldn’t deny you the pleasure of seeing the duck doing yoga with Yoda (and that of reading this sentence). Also, I hoped that turning our rediscovered obsession with this song into something tangible (as tangible as digital things can be) would help alleviate it. If you’ve just learned about the existence of “SEAGULLS! (Stop it now),” the duck and I strongly recommend giving it a listen. It’s just as quotable as The Empire Strikes Back and introduces our favorite Star Wars storyline, featuring a giant log, that contains infinitely more family drama and shocking revelations than the infamous encounter between Luke and Darth Vader.
“… or depending on when you see this, good afternoon, good evening, or good night!” It’s as if the 1998 movie The Truman Show was written to be featured on a blog, isn’t it? I wonder how many movie poster/-still duckifications the duck and I will execute before our creative laziness gets the better of us. This time we decided to go with a movie set on an island (a place where we wouldn’t have minded enduring the intense heat of the past few days), with a story that, at its core, is about finding the true meaning of life. Maybe, if I get better at meditating, the duck and I will have an equally illuminating experience as Truman does in this sequence. Aaaanyway, here’s our newest the-duck-in-famous-movies concept:
(I used a Truman Show movie poster I found online as a reference. Maybe you know it?) Have you seen The Truman Show and know what the pictured moment is about? Can you think of any equally life-changing revelations you’ve had? For the duck and me, the first time we understood our love for matchacame close.
“Life was like a box of chocolates: Full of surprises, especially if a cheeky duck has decided to sneak into it.” I think this is roughly how the famous(ly misquoted) line in the popular 1994 Robert Zemeckis film Forrest Gump goes? The duck insisted I got it just right. Recreating the “Here’s Johnny!” still from The Shiningfor our initial Covid post was so fun that the duck and I wondered what the duck would look like inside other famous movies. So, here is my latest artistic endeavor: Forrest Duck!
Color pencils have always been one of my favorite art mediums (= one of the few I could somewhat control). So, this is what I decided to go with to eternalize the duck’s inner runner and outer chocolate lover.
Do you have a favorite movie quote? Is there a movie you like to rewatch every now and then?
One of the duck and my 2022 New Year’s resolutions is keeping up our reading habit. In fact, within the past two years, the duck and I finished twice as many books as in the four years before. There were times in the past when I read even more than that, but the duck and I are lazy, so I’m happy with our mini achievements. Because I don’t love all the books I read (well, didn’t; I’m working hard on no longer fearing being haunted by unfinished stories), the duck and I have a few methods targeting different senses that make our reading experience more appealing. Of course, we have compiled them into a checklist (the love is real!). Who knows, maybe there even is a decent idea, or two, in there that you’d like to use for enhancing your own reading experience:
This is how I imagine a perfect autumn evening. Ideally, I’d like to have a hot cocoa date with the real Miss Marple. Or rather, Jane Marple as she is portrayed by Margaret Rutherford in the four 1960s films directed by George Pollock that our wonderful Disney Sea adventuring and emergency washing machine providing pal Sb introduced the duck and me to last year. Sb told us that she had just discovered the series herself a few months prior and that upon watching the 1961 Murder She Said, she knew she had to share this cinematic experience with the duck and me because we would immensely enjoy it (same as Sb, we had known of Miss Marple beforehand, but had never actually seen any of the films). Sb was right!Here is the duck posing next to the cocoa concoction – or cocoction? – we made to accompany today’s friend recommendation: a black forest gateau hot cocoa inspired by the one they served at Epcot several Christmases ago, but with cherry syrup (can’t let the main ingredient in Phryne Fisher’s Cherry-flavored Mystery go to waste) instead of cherry liqueur, and our very own copy of the Margaret Rutherford Miss Marple films that, of course, we had to invest in so that we could have hot cocoa dates with our quick-witted British lady detective pal anytime. If you’ve never seen these films and/or wonder how we made this cherry hot cocoa in need of improvement, do read on: Continue reading →
Having devoured our last tub of grocery store vegan ice cream, the duck and I decided it was time we made our own non-dairy ice cream. We wanted it to have all of our favorite flavors, not only peanut butter and sandwich cookie pieces that remind us of ice cream sandwich “bread.” Our ice cream would include matcha and pretzels, too! This would be the ice cream of the future, the duck and I thought, as we tried coming up with a recipe while listening to one of our favorite friend-recommended podcasts. Flash Forward is all about “possible and not so possible future scenarios,” as host Rose Eveleth explains at the beginning of each episode.
Today’s friend recommendation actually dates back to the weekend the duck and I watched one of our absolute favorite movies, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, for the first time, together with our lovely friends J and Al. I wonder what our lives would be like had we just stayed at home that weekend. That’s a future that I don’t want to imagine. Let’s talk about more exciting future scenarios instead – alongside a summary of how the duck and my (too-)many-flavors ice cream came to be:
Today the duck and I want to tell you about one of our favorite books: Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. When Ch, our phenomenal pumpkin pilgrimage pal, recommended it to us some time ago, she said: “I’m not going to describe it to you, but I think that you’ll like it.” We loved it! We particularly loved reading about all the foods the narrator gets to eat; our favorite is a bowl of porridge with blackberry jam and cream that precedes the series of mysterious events that the story focuses on. In fact, when we reread this perfectly pleasing porridge passage recently, we knew that we had to attempt to recreate this beautiful breakfast. So, that’s what will accompany today’s friend recommendation post.Here’s a photo of the duck admiring our pretty porridge that turned out just how we had imagined it when we read about it; this might be our favorite recommendation accompaniment so far (probably because it’s so simple and hard to mess up).
I agree with Ch that The Ocean at the End of the Lane is one of those novels that you shouldn’t know too much about before you read it. This is why, rather than going into the details of the plot, the duck and I want to talk about some of our favorite themes, descriptions, and mental images we had while reading this book: