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A wizard is never late,

“…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 Resolutions list. In fact, we’re still working on our punctuality streakone slow jog at a time.

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It’s the weirdest thing…

… 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?

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Stand on one hand and lift

“… 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 our slow 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.

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Good morning,

“… 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 matcha came close.

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My momma always said,

“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 Shining for 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?

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Last winter sunset

Today I want to share a photo from the duck and my last walk this past astronomical winter. Even though the day had been sunny, the temperatures were still low enough to remind us of our icy wings and hands when we saw off autumn in Kyoto several years ago. We set off on our sunset walk pretty late, so we had less than half an hour of light bright enough for our camera friend to work with without the photos becoming too grainy.Last 2021/2022 winter sunset
After that walk, I spent a lot of time inside. But that’s a story for another day.
Until then, have a happy and healthy spring!

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Zeitungsente

The duck and I decided to dedicate our newest artistic endeavor to one of our favorite words in German, the Zeitungsente. This colloquial expression for a newspaper hoax translates to ‘newspaper duck.’ I tried to fold one out of a printed-out newspaper hoax story:ZeitungsenteMy origami skills are still mediocre, so I was grateful for the duck’s suggestion to enhance the photo of our newspaper duck with some digital art.Hauptzeitungsente
To mark the occasion, the duck turned the leftover newspaper-print paper into a fancy hat and demanded to be addressed as Hauptzeitungsente, the ‘main newspaper duck,’ for the remainder of the day. Of course, I obliged. I’m glad that these seem to be the only shenanigans the Hauptzeitungsente is up to today.

What is your favorite benign (newspaper) hoax story or practical joke?

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Visually winter

The duck and I are glad that winter is almost over. Whenever the days become sunnier and longer and the temperatures a bit warmer, there’s nearly nothing that can keep the stupid smiles off our faces for too long. Until we are visited by the first sneezes and eight-legged bedroom visitors, that is. For now, our happiness about the advent of spring still beats any of the not-so-pleasant side effects, and the duck and I sure hope that this won’t change anytime soon.
Aaaaanyway, we actually just wanted to share this photo – hopefully the last wintry one in a while – with you today:generic winter photoWe wish you a happy Sunday (or whatever weekday it is for you at this very moment) and an enjoyable week!

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A duck in February

In the past few years, I have gotten used to the advantages of digital doodling. To change it up, I tried my hand at (cheap) watercolors last year. I was not too impressed with the outcome. A few days ago, the duck spotted a mystery pouch among my art supplies and reminded me that I was once obsessed with Copic Ciao markers. They are considered the ‘affordable’ version of the professional markers serious artists like to use. Still, the sheer amount of colors the duck discovered must have cost me half a fortune back when I was much younger (and apparently not yet super cheap). Delighted by my shock and excitement, the duck, possibly inspired by the ‘Duck in January’ photo from last December, demanded I practice drawing the most important artistic subject of them all: ducks! So, here is ‘duck in the cold – February edition’ (unfortunately, the scanner ate some of the lighter colors, so some of the subtler shadows got lost):A duck in February
I hadn’t touched my old Copic Markers in a very long time; using them again made me wonder why because they were so much fun to doodle with! I’ll definitely try to work with them more, now that I remember how much money I must have invested in them all those years ago. Who knows, maybe the duck will allow me to draw non-duck-related pictures someday…

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A duck in January

When 2021 was still relatively fresh, the duck and I wrote about our winter walks that, ideally with a podcast on our ears, were a welcome change to spending too much time indoors where it is warm and cozy. While we have spent more voluntary time outside this year than we had in years, the duck and I have also become more creatively sluggish in the past few months. This is why we decided to end this year with a photo from the beginning:January duckIt didn’t make the cut last January, but now that 2021 is coming to an end, the duck and I have come to appreciate this picture as it reminds us of how we were wondering what this new year would bring. It didn’t turn out the way we had hoped (does it ever?), but it still managed to pleasantly surprise us sometimes. I wonder what the next year will be like…
Hopefully, the terrible*, sporadic** New Year’s neighborhood fireworks will magically inspire us? Wish us luck!

In return, we wish you, dear reader, a happy, healthy, and not-too-cold (or hot, depending on where you are) new year!


*We’re firework snobs (more on that next year, maybe?).
**Due to the pandemic, stores are banned from selling fireworks. So, it’s very likely that only a few leftover ones will be set off this New Year’s Eve.