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SPOTLIGHT ON.... Pennywhistle!!!!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Pennywhistle, this is your spotlight thread! 

People can ask you questions, and you can answer (or not, your choice). Or you can just share if you want to. It's up to you!


To get the ball rolling, here are a few starter questions!


  1. Backstory! Tell us about you, where you came from, how you got to where you are now. 
  2. What are you craving right now?
  3. If someone handed you $1000, no strings attached, what would you do with it?
  4. What's your favorite type of soup?
  5. Talk about your house a little-- are you happy where you live? Best part about your house? Worst?
  6. I love the name Pennywhistle... Any special meaning?



(Sorry this was late getting going....  Hopefully we all have lots of exciting questions to ask to make up for losing a day!)

post #2 of 22

I am procrastinating at work, so this is perfect timing!


1. Backstory: I'm 34, newly married to a 36yo who my friends nicknamed "the Lumberjack" when we started dating 4 years ago (he's super tall & broad, with a beard...much like all the other guys in San Francisco!).  He's the first man that I dated in over a decade - I came out as queer in college, and only dated women until I met him.  This led to some hilarious assumptions on his part...we met at an event and I was totally smitten, flirting with him as much as seemed decent.  He met up with some friends later that night and was talking about me, and it turns out one of them knew me...as a lesbian.  So he was very confused, and thought that he had been pretty conceited, assuming I was flirting!  Luckily I am not known for being shy, so I tracked down his email and wrote him, and four years later we're married with a baby on the way!


I grew up here in the California Bay Area, although my family moved to Thailand in 1989 so I went to the International School of Bangkok for middle school & high school.  Went to college in LA, then came back up here and haven't left since.  Fooled around with a few different jobs before having an awful work experience (at a feminist sex toy store, of all places) which prompted me to go to law school & practice employment law.


2.  I'm craving: BEER.  I want beer so badly.  I have sips periodically, but I miss being able to drink as much as I want!  My husband & I are both huge craft beer fans, and there are so many amazing options here, and I get so sad not being able to have any.


3. If I had $1000: I want to say something exciting and glamourous, but honestly I'd just put it towards our credit card.  We're still paying off a few wedding expenses, and I really just want to clear it all off already!  However, if bills weren't an option, I would want to go on vacation somewhere beautiful and calm, for as long as the money lasted!  Oh, and I'd buy a cool cat tree (I realize that's an oxymoron). And maybe some plants (which I would promptly kill, because I forget that they require upkeep).


4. Soup bores me, unless I'm sick.  But when we were little, my brothers & I had a weird phase where we would smoosh our ice cream until it melted into soup.  So, I guess my favourite soup is ice cream soup!


5. We live in a 2-bedroom apartment in Oakland, with two cats.  I love our neighbourhood, and the rent is good, so I think we'll stay for awhile.  I just wish we didn't have carpeting, and that we had a dining room!  Right now we have a living room and an eat-in kitchen.  We can pull the table out part-way into the living room if we have a bunch of people sitting around it, but it makes everything really crowded.  So, I dream of having a dining room one day.  Fingers crossed.


6: My name!  I'm a burlesque dancer, and my stage name is...Penny Whistle.  I started performing in 2003, so it's been quite a while...I was just starting to think about phasing out of the troupe when I found out about the baby, so it's actually really good timing.  We had a show Saturday night which will be my last.  I'm still going to attend rehearsal and help direct the troupe, but no more performing for me, at least for now!  I'm hoping to make a cameo appearance or two once I've popped out this kid winky.gif


If you're into that sort of thing, I have a blog: http://dkingneece.wordpress.com/

I started it when I found out I was pregnant...since I found out 10 days before our wedding, I named the blog "Shotgun Fetus."

post #3 of 22


What is your favorite movie of all time?

What is your favorite food for a snack?  For breakfast?  Dinner?

Do you have a cat or dog or any other animals? 

If you could go anywhere for a one week vacation right now where would it be?

What are 3 random interesting facts about you?

post #4 of 22

I don't know if I have a favourite movie...I love going to the movies, but there isn't one in particular that jumps out as my favourite.  I really like Love Actually, Parenthood (and I love the show!), Running on Empty, and Clueless - those are movies that I will always happily watch if they're on.


My favourite food tends to change - I'll get obsessed with something, eat it all the time, then get sick of it and switch to something else.  Right now I'm really into Coconut Bliss - the dark chocolate or mint flavours.  SO DELICIOUS, and I don't get the crazy blood sugar rush/crash since it's made with agave.


I have 2 cats and I love them to a ridiculous degree.  They're the first cats I've ever had - we always had dogs growing up.  I got them when I lived alone, so I made sure to find two that were already bonded so that they could keep each other company when I stayed over at my boyfriend(now husband)'s house.  And they are so in love with each other!  They wrestle like crazy, then lay around licking each other's faces.  Last night I couldn't stop yelling "OH MY GOD LOOK AT THEM NOW THEY ARE SO ADOOOOORABLE."  This kid of ours is going to have stiff competition!


I would love to go to Vietnam for a week, since both my brothers live there and my older brother's wife just had a baby (the first baby from the next generation in our family) last month and I want to see that baby so bad!


Random interesting facts:

Apparently my easy and overly happy pregnancy has convinced my "I don't want kids" coworker that she "can't wait until [she] gets accidentally pregnant."
I hung out with Carrie Fisher backstage at a show, did her makeup "burlesque style," and then she stole all my glitter.

I have four nipples.  Yes, you read that correctly.

post #5 of 22

Four nipples! Tell us more! What does this mean for your baby? :) Double snacks!?


My question is, how do you think your struggles with mental illness has shaped you as a person, and how do you think it will shape you as a parent? xoxo



post #6 of 22

Yeah, I want to know more about the 4 nipples! I know someone with a third (lactating) boob and it seems both cool and really annoying. 


Also, I took a look at your blog and the entry on finding out you're having a boy almost made me cry, because that's kind of how I feel about having a boy. Here's to raising non-douchebag feminist little dudes! 

post #7 of 22

4 nipples!  It's true.  It's funny, because I didn't even know until I got pregnant.  I've always had these little symmetrical moles, one on each side, right in front of my armpits.  They were skin coloured and small (like a tiny grain of rice), and I never thought about them.  Then, a few months ago, I noticed that they looked a little puffy, and slightly pink.  I asked my doctor during a visit, and she poked them gently and said "oh, yeah...that's just breast tissue - those are nipples" in this totally matter of fact way.  I looked HORRIFIED and my husband couldn't stop laughing.  They haven't changed much more, so they're still pretty unnoticeable.  My husband is hoping they'll start lactating - he is totally fascinated by them.


Oh, mental illness.  That's a tough one, because I was definitely affected by my mother's depression, so I'm going into this motherhood thing Super Hyper Aware of not wanting to repeat her mistakes.  She did her best, and I don't blame her for anything, but I definitely became a caretaker at a very young age - some of my earliest, most vivid memories with her are of me trying to make sure she was okay, and trying to avoid situations that would make her sad (we were reading Little Women together, which I loved...then I found out somehow that Beth dies and I knew it would upset her, so I hid the book and we never finished it).  She's doing really well now - she got on meds, and they've really helped.  I have also found meds that help me, and I know all the things I need to do to keep myself doing well - stay on the meds, eat well, exercise, sleep, communicate, etc - so I'm hoping that my depression/anxiety issues won't affect my kid the way my mom's affected me.

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

Penny, I wish we didn't live on opposite coasts!  Man, do I miss beer.  A good west coast IPA is complete heaven to me.  I'll get little tastes, but I'm too paranoid to actually do more than smell usually.  Sigh.  Your blog is hilarious, by the way.


1) Now that you're a cat person, if you were going to get a dog, what kind of dog would it be?

2) Favorite shoes?

3) Favorite thing about practicing law?  Least favorite thing?

post #9 of 22

Your blog is so funny.  As someone whose pregnancy was also a surprise, I can totally relate to the post about jumping over the bathroom stall door and slapping the woman for bragging.  It also made me remember that, oh so long ago, I had once started a blog, so I went and read through that, which was pre-relationship, pre-baby...I just updated it. Pretty interesting to see what I wrote about back then.


1) What are you most looking forward to having your little boy?

2) What are you not looking forward to about being a parent?

3) What are your cats names?  (I also find it ridiculous how in love with my two cats I am)

post #10 of 22

4 nipples=natures way of saying you could nurse quads? Sheepish.gif




post #11 of 22

Puppies!  Oh man, I do want to get a dog again, someday.  I just have very high standards for acceptable dog care, and know that we're currently in no shape to have one.  But I'm hoping that we'll eventually get there.  I love black labs - we had one when I was a teenager, and she was awesome - and larger shepard breeds.  I also love pit bulls and their boxy heads & floppy ears!  Soooo cute.


Favourite shoes: right now, my black saucony jazz sneakers, since I can wear them to work with jeans and they don't look TOO casual.  My favourite dress up shoes vary, but I love anything with a t-strap.  I also pretty much live in my knee-high black leather boots - they make me look cute when I don't feel like shaving!


Practicing law: I can definitely answer the "least favourite thing" since I quit being a lawyer after a little over a year due to hating it so bad.  I didn't like the stress or the pressure - the last-minute demands and the expectation to pull all-nighters at the drop of a hat.  I did, however, really enjoy the early case work - investigating and fact-finding, proving the case, interviews, etc.  So I was lucky enough to find my current job (investigator with the US Dept of Labor) which involves all the early investigation and fact-finding, without any of the "you have 24 hours to write me a 10-page brief" crap.  I am VERY happy!



Most looking forward to with my son (!!!!): I'm really excited to watch how masculinity evolves from a young age.  All that nature vs. nurture stuff.  Gender aside, I'm really looking forward to having a family, and creating our own traditions.  And watching my parents (they live 5 minutes away and are SUPER excited for their first local grandkid!) as grandparents - I know they're going to be great.  I'm so grateful that they're close, so that I can give my son a large family of support.


Not looking forward to: the internet!  I didn't have the internet until my senior year of college, and I am SO grateful.  I can't even imagine how awful my teenage years would have been if everything I went through was plastered on Facebook.  So I have no idea how to navigate that, what sort of boundaries/rules work, etc.


And...my cats!  Bella and Oliver.  I got them from the pound - I'm pretty sure Bella was named by one of the teenage volunteers ;)  Bella is a black & grey tabby, and Oliver is a white & grey tuxedo.  They knocked over the kitchen table at 6am this morning (I have no idea how) so they're currently in trouble.

post #12 of 22

I have a corgi shepherd pitbull mix . She's very odd looking. <3 


Do you cats know about the new baby? one of my friends kept having to shoo the cat out of the baby's crib and had to do a swat team like tactical "check" to make sure the cat was not in the baby's room because Djin would sneak in and sleep with the baby. 

post #13 of 22

I know what you mean about the animal love/obsession!  We are obsessed with how cute and adorable our dog is (see my profile pic). When we go on vacation we miss him and talk about him and make my parents put the phone up to his ear :) I know that already-parents roll their eyes every time I say it, but I can't imagine how I could love a kid more than I love that dog!!


And, I'm totally not a movie person, but I could watch Love Actually and Clueless over and over :)

post #14 of 22

I LOVE ice cream soup!!


Yeah, I'm so glad to have a boy and watch the differences between him and his sisters...and just hte amazing bond.  And how he really takes it as his responsibility to help me protect his little sister.  LOL.  It's precious.  He loves to teach her and guide her...he's 4. LOL.


You are an interesting gal, Pennywhistle. Going to read your blog.


What have you bought for the baby?


What are your birth and after birth plans?


What names are you liking for baby?


(Sorry if you've discussed these things on other threads...I usually only read a few threads.)

post #15 of 22

I don't think the cats know what's about to come in 4 months...they currently like to sleep on our faces, though, so I'm sure we'll have to perform our own tactical sweeps to keep them from stealing the baby's breath!


Baby purchases!  We actually...haven't bought ANYthing yet.  I've been getting a bunch of stuff for free, from friends & freecycle, and am hoping to do this for as much stuff as possible!  So far we have a carseat/stroller, jogging stroller, changing table, swing, a bunch of different baby carriers, a breast pump, some blankets, a very cute onesie and a copy of Free To Be You And Me.  That's all the baby needs, right?  winky.gif


We haven't spelled out the birth & after-birth plans yet.  I'm giving birth at the Sacred Birth Center, a house here in Oakland with midwives & doulas.  The birthing room is like a big bedroom, with a tub!  I'm super excited for a water birth.  My husband and mom will both be there, as well as my midwife and doula.  We haven't worked out any other details at this point, but the Center has a great pre-natal care process - we go in for a group talk with the other moms every other Saturday, and they cover a ton of topics, so the birth plan concept is coming up.  As for after birth...I have no idea what to expect!  We'll be bringing the baby home as soon as possible, and then the current plan is just to stay in bed with the baby for a week and see what happens!  I'm super lucky to have my parents so close - my mom isn't currently working, so she'll be able to come over and help out while I get my bearings.  Also, since my husband is a student, he'll be around too.  So we'll figure it out together!


Oh, and no circumcision.  I have always been passionately against it (I have a history with the queer/intersex community), so it was never an option.  My husband had a little concern about the whole "he won't look like me" thing, but I...well, I put my foot down with a resounding "absolutely not" so he agreed (he didn't feel too strongly about it).


Baby names have been tough, since my husband has very bizarre ideas whereas I tend to prefer more traditional.  The current top-runner is August, called Gus for short.  He also likes Forrest, and Forrester is a family name for me, so I'm thinking August Forrester might be the one!  But I'm hoping to have a few options that we can then pick from once we actually see the baby in person.  My older brother actually "chose" his name - my parents had 3 top contenders, and kept reading through them after he was born, and he would let out a little cry each time they said "Matthew."  So, he got it!  Funnily enough, the other 2 choices were Devon & Ethan.  And...my name is Devon, and my younger brother is Ethan.  From the very beginning we were getting hand-me-downs!

post #16 of 22

LOL..LOVE the name story.  HOW neat!!!


It's so weird when I hear people say the whole he wont look like me thing.  Because my son is 4 and he's never said that. LOL. I wouldnt care about that anyway.  My daughters arent going to ahve my breasts but I'm not getting them surgery for it. LOL


That's awesome that you've been given so much stuff.

post #17 of 22


Originally Posted by intime0 View Post

LOL..LOVE the name story.  HOW neat!!!


It's so weird when I hear people say the whole he wont look like me thing.  Because my son is 4 and he's never said that. LOL. I wouldnt care about that anyway.  My daughters arent going to ahve my breasts but I'm not getting them surgery for it. LOL


That's awesome that you've been given so much stuff.


I'm actually REALLY glad I don't have my mom's breasts.... mine are bigger! LOL. I'm not an intactivist but i don't get the "look like dad" argument either- boys don't have the same parts as their mother's, it doesn't seem to traumatize them THAT much.  (in fact my 2 year old is MUCh more interested in my breasts even since he self weaned than ANYTHING on my husband- if he's in the bathroom while i'm getting ready for a shower, he goes "OooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOH! NEE NEES!!!!" and points at them.... 

post #18 of 22

If anything, I think the "why don't I look like daddy?" issue, if it even comes up, will be a great segue into explaining how everyone's bodies are different and how wonderful that is!  Since I figure the idea of difference will come up anyway, what with our multi-racial, multi-gendered (most of my friends are trans or otherwise queer) community, this will fit right into my attempts to raise a feminist boy thumb.gif

post #19 of 22


Originally Posted by pennywhistle View Post

If anything, I think the "why don't I look like daddy?" issue, if it even comes up, will be a great segue into explaining how everyone's bodies are different and how wonderful that is!  Since I figure the idea of difference will come up anyway, what with our multi-racial, multi-gendered (most of my friends are trans or otherwise queer) community, this will fit right into my attempts to raise a feminist boy thumb.gif


Oh yeah because EVERYONE is so different Have you seen that website ~ it was started I think to promote breast health in women and body positiveness- and it shows I believe different sizes, shapes and such to show that well, breasts are normal and you basically don't need augmentation. I'd google it but i"m so exhausted I'd probably end up with a search result page of something not safe for my toddler to see. (I don't mind him seeing breasts - he certainly saw enough of mine his first 2 years!!! and especially if its like a medical context not a sexual content. ) 

post #20 of 22

I read that as...I'm so excited...and I was all, WHAT? LOL.  EXHAUSTED.  YOu and me both sister. LOL

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