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Martha and Susan’s Excellent Adventures » Rocky Utama

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Rocky Redux

Friday, January 19th, 2007

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For more about Mars’ & Sue’s EA adventures, read the previous posts. This is the end of Rocky’s EA Adventure now. And if you don’t know who Rocky is, I guess you don’t read this blog enough.

*****

The sewer, shit. I’m still only in the sewer. Every time I think I’m going to wake up back in the restaurant. When I was home after my first assignment, it was worse. I’d wake up and there’d be nothing… When I was in the restaurant, I wanted to be in the sewer. When I was in the sewer all I could think about was getting back into the restaurant. Every minute I stay in this sewer I get weaker. And every minute that Chef has to himself in that kitchen he gets stronger. Everyone gets what he wants. I want a mission, and for my fins they gave me one. Flushed it down to me like a dead fish down a toilet.

They worked as a team: Lucky, the cat who had delivered Rocky from the Chinese medicine merchant. Ryo the rat. Rocky. And Mouse. Mouse was the brains of the VFD - Vegetarian Freedom Deliverers. The mission was dangerous this time: release 3 squid from the tank in the Happy Times Chinese Restaurant. Rocky would have to lead the squid down to the sewer and then be rescued himself by Lucky before the squid decided to eat Rocky. Things went off without a hitch, until the whole plan went south.

Lucky was the most dependable cat in the world, except for one thing: he had and absolute terror of Olympic divers, and couldn’t make himself go anywhere near one. Unfortunately one was arguing with the host when it was time for Lucky to break out of the restaurant:

“What do you mean you don’t have a reservation for me? Don’t you know I’m an Olympic diver? I’m famous! Find me a table this instant, I insist! If you do, I might even give you an autograph.”

Lucky was paralyzed. He retreated to behind a tank of koi (the next mission), and couldn’t be budged. Meanwhile, Rocky our hero was cornered in the sewer outside by the squid. He couldn’t hold them off any longer, despite his amazing Chinese fighting fish skills when..

Knives and forks rained down from above, creating a spiked barrier between the squid and Rocky. Something plunged into the water from above him - small, furry arms grabbed him and they were lifted out of the water. Rocky was dropped into a spherical dome of water. He gazed at amazement at the 3 mice in front of him on the pavement.

“We’re from the Mousad. Mouse sent us to watch you. He wants to promote you in the ranks of VFD. It’s bigger than you could ever imagine. We’ve never had a fish work with us, but we’ve been watching you for a while now, and you’re the best we’ve seen. Your glass bowl that you’re in right now will work like a hamster ball, so you can get around on land for a while. Come with us. We have much to tell you about the VFD.”

Rocky followed them down the alley, into the night.

Rocky’s Side of the Story

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

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It turns out that I inadvertently insulted Rocky the Fish, a.k.a. Rocky Utama, in my last post. On two heads I feel the charges against me are most heavy: 1) I said that Rocky was my idea, and 2) I posted Roland’s response on how he felt about getting a Chinese Fighting Fish, a.k.a. betta fish, and made no reference to Rocky’s response on how he felt about being adopted by Roland. And so today I will fix that.

Rocky was originally the idea of his to parents. He was born in the open sewers of Indonesia, and shortly after his birth was orphaned when his parents were caught by a couple of school children to be used as professional fighting fish in the tough world of the Indo primary school fighting fish gambling rings. Rocky probably would have just been eaten by his parents anyway though, so perhaps this was all for the best. Rocky enjoyed his early life in the sewers. He scavenged for meals, and his favourite being the strange algaes that grew as a result of all the refuse. This is where Rocky first got his taste for vegetarianism. He also enjoyed the occasional durians that made their way into the gutter.

Rocky’s happy early existence was suddenly shattered one morning when he was caught by a traditional Chinese medicine merchant. He was very nearly skinned and dried, but using a spatula, soccer boot, and a clove of garlic, managed to overcome the medicine man and made a daring escape in the mouth of a vegetarian cat. As you can probably tell from this beginning, the years ahead were going to be rough for Rocky. The tales of woe that I could tell! Enough tears would fall from your eyes to fill all the open sewers of Indonesia if you heard all the trials that befell Rocky during this time (as you can tell, I’ve been reading a lot of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” lately. Book 13: THE END is out people!!!! -Ed.)

After all these misadventures, Rocky eventually ended up in AquaPets Aquariums at Bondi Junction in Sydney, Australia. And this is where Rocky’s path crossed that of Martha Lenio, a rather common-place PhD student in a mad rush to find a birthday gift for a friend who’s party was that afternoon. She selected Rocky from among all the other available betta fish at the back of the store, because Rocky was clearly the best. He had character, built from his many misfortunes, and it showed through is gloriously colourful scales. That day Martha took Rocky to her friend Roland, and at last Rocky had found a last safe place, a place he could call home, and where hopefully one day he will be able to once again indulge in the joys of vegetarianism.

I previously wrote to you about the joy of Roland upon receiving Rocky. Now I would like to share how Rocky feels upon being adopted by Roland:

Hello all,

It’s me!! Rocky the fish!!

I just thought that I prefer a direct way to communicate with all of you, so I opened a gmail account! Please, don’t be shy and send my mails, I read and write English (have some problems with speaking, due to water in my mouth). I also know some Hebrew from my long vacation in the Mediterranean Sea.

Thank you all for choosing me, as a birthday gift to Roland. He’s a really nice guy and I think that I will like him. The only problem is that I want to be a vegetarian fish and he insists that I’ll eat meat (and a lot)!! Can you help me convincing him to allow me to be the first vegetarian in my family? Please send support mails to: xxx @student.unsw.edu.au (you can also send SMSs).

Remember: You don’t show the fish to the crowd, you show the crowd to the fish.

Love you all.
Rocky Utama (previously - Rocky the fish).

And so Rocky, I hope that we’re friends again.

*****

Okay peoples. In other news, I celebrated Hallowe’en here, mostly by my lonesome, but I think everyone got a kick out of the traditional blue hair. Photos are in the gallery. Paul and Karo and Jamie made pumpkins with me, and any day with blue hair is a good day. Right now I’m sitting at school listening to Charlie Brown Christmas music, because I’m in holiday mode, and now that Hallowe’en is over I think it’s okay to start listening to Christmas music. Although I do usually try to wait until December. Ciao peoples!

Rocky the Fish

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

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So every weekend here in Sydney we make up a “Weekend Plan”. It can be as little as going for yumcha or watching a movie. Or it can be as big and elaborate as a road trip to Port Stephens. Last weekend we had a birthday party for Roland and Ziv at Ziv’s ‘lab’ - his research has to do with pumping applications of solar energy, so he has a pool in the backyard of a university-owned house as his ‘lab’. (best. lab. ever!). So I convinced Ziv to let us have a pool party there, and we’d help clean the pool after over a month of not being cleaned due to him being in Israel.

The party was a lot of fun. Highlights: Elsa’s baby Sophilia, Jenny cooking Korean-style pork belly on a George Foreman, and the gifts: Season 1 of Boston Legal for Ziv, and a Chinese Fighting Fish for Roland (a.k.a. a Beta fish). The fish was my idea, thank you, and here’s Roland’s response:
Now I will give you a quick update on our new friend “Rocky” (yes, that’s the fish’s name!). Rocky made it home safely, although a little lonely. My nieces were quite excited by the fish too! But me, my brother and my cousin had a meeting and we decided that we’ll train this fish to be a champion! In order to achieve that, Rocky must have a high-protein and high-carbohydrate diet. Unfortunately, small fish and tadpoles are not easily (and freely) available here in Sydney with the lack of open sewers. So coinciding with the arrival of summer, we formulated a special diet for Rocky consisting of mosquito larva, termite alates and live worms. This will make Rocky strong, colorful and very intimidating to potential challengers. Rocky will also soon move to a new home in the form of a tall jar so that he can polish his swimming skills and have longer breath for future duels. Rocky indicated that he’s looking forward to his first fight with a worthy opponent.

So it looks like there may be more beta fish as gifts in the future. We also got busted by UNSW security about 5 hours into the party. It was awesome. We’ll be doing it again sometime in the future for sure!