Thank You

I see this on Amy’s Facebook page occasionally:

Thank you, universe for all the the gifts you have given me, and tomorrow please bring me more.

I don’t know why she says that. I will ask her.  It just seems appropriate right now. 

But today I have my friends to thank for all my gifts.  I love you guys.

Kidneys and Caviar

I have PKD.  It’s not life-threatening.   The stat used to be that 50% of people died by the time they were 50.  But I have always been lucky.  The other 50% don’t have any symptoms at all.  My mum doesn’t, and she has it.  My auntie Julie has it, my auntie Pat, my granddad, and my brother.  (I think it probably killed Granddad and auntie Pat, but they didn’t catch it and look after it.)  It it too early to test Evie, and see if she has it, but I’m not worried.  Even if she does, by the time we get there, there will be a cure.  Maybe there already is.  Maybe that stat is completely different to the stat they told me when they told me about it 7 years ago.  Who knows?  It doesn’t bother me, and they haven’t hurt in 7 years.

But then they did.  It was the day after the election.  Maybe my body was just as pissed off as I was at the results and shot a little blood in the urine, and that is where all the pain in coming from. Either way, I decided to make an appointment for a check-up.

This was me in the hospital:


Last night, I really got my knickers into a twist thinking about my kidneys cysts.  It was just something the technician said. She said “Oh, did you know they were in your liver, too?”.  I hadn’t known that.  She said it was nothing to worry about.  I have been trying not to ask Dr Google what that means.  Is it like cancer?  Is it spreading? Am I going to need a kidney transplant?

The tech girl was lovely, but I think she might have been a bit in experienced.  She freaked me out a bit keep going on about how large some of the cysts are (“do you know one is the size of a grapefruit?”) It is so weird; they literally always say that.  Yes, I know that.  It’s 11 cms in diameter.  Well, actually, no, she said it is 12 now, so whatever.  Anyway, they are growing.  It isn’t awesome, but I am sure it is fine.

The I am also sure the only reason that I am thinking about it and worrying about it this much this time is because I am already knocked sideways from the elections results, and from being sick, and from weaning.  It never rains but it pours, right?  (And goodness, California could use some rain!)

Even then, I wasn’t worried.  But the hospital did say that the doctor promised to call and give me the results the same day.  And his hasn’t.  And it was a Friday.  And I know a lot of doctors, and I know that sometimes the reason they don’t call on a Friday, is because they don’t want to ruin your weekend with bad news.

And maybe they just forgot to call.

And anyway, you can live with one kidney.  I think.  I’m almost 100% certain you can.  I think you might have to do dialysis. Not sure.  Maybe they aren’t both buggered?  Maybe it is only one of them?

Either way, I stayed up way too late last night googling “how long does it take to get a kidney transplant in San Francisco”.  And the few people I have mentioned it to, they would give me one of theirs – LOL.  That’s how great my friends are.  I doubt they would be a match, but it’s a good start J.

I feel much better today.  Evie woke briefly in the night, so I had to get up and feed her – but the plus side of that is she slept in really late (thank you. Thank you, magic daughter.)

I made breakfast for us using the cheese that Kim left in the fridge.  (THANK YOU KIM, it has a really long shelf life – and was good for my body and for Evie’s).



We had scrambled eggs with your cheese, avocado, and roasted tomatoes and buttered zucchini.  Marie dropped in and she got some breakfast, since I was making it.

She was going climbing, so she had to take it out of the door with her in a piece of Tupperware.  It is so cute and adorable.  When she is done with her food, she often leaves the Tupperware on the back steps.  It reminds me of Tales of the City.  I had read those Armistead Maupin books before I moved to the city.  It was all so exotic and foreign to me then.  I never dreamed I would be one day in San Francisco.  I read them again when Paul took me to Baja to learn to surf after I lost Evie.   I still love them.  I should send Armistead Maupin a thank you note, and tell him how good they are.  He is still writing them.  The last one had Burning Man in it – LOL.  People do still go to Burning Man.    (I’m not a hater about that at all.  Yes, OF COURSE, I think it was better when I used to go 15 years ago, but it wasn’t better – just different.  Life moves on.  I have to try and move with it.)

Oh and the caviar part of the title?

I couldn’t reach Paul last night because he was sleeping (ahead of his diving course), and Dana was in bed, so I texted Trevor to talk to him and see if he thought it was serious.  This is our text conversation.


And this was my NOT concerned face, when another friend told me not to worry!


Ringing in the New Year?

I know it is officially a bit early to welcome the New Year, but boy am I ready for it?  (Someone recently told me it is supposed to get better for “year of the Rat” on the 7th December.

Anyway, I have been missing wearing a ring on my ring finger.  I used to toy with it like a worry bead, or a Tibetan prayer wheel.  So I have started wearing my grandmother’s wedding ring.  Like me, she was a Taurus, and emerald was her birth stone.  I love it – and it makes me think of her.






In the words of the Everly Brothers…

“Wake up, little Evie, wake up.

Wake up, little Evie, wake up.

We’ve both been sound asleep, wake up little Evie, and let’s eat.”

(I made that last part up, but I don’t feel like weeping today, which I think might be the real words!)

When Evie sleeps this late, I have to resist the urge to go in there and wake her up to make sure she is still breathing. Thank you Russell for the DropPro cam so I can see she is moving and sleeping and squirming around🙂. )

Turning the world on its head?

Evie is sleeping in suuuuuper late this morning.  It is 9.30, so I wanted to try and squeeze a little work in.  Look what my darling child appears to have to have done to my keyboard:

I’m rebooting for the third time.  I’ve tried monkeying with the screen resolution, and display options – but I swear, she must have accessed the mainframe to do this.  Maybe she went into the matrix, when I wasn’t looking?

Evie, I love you, but now how is Mummy going to get any work done this weekend?

Super side note:

It took me forever the other night to figure out how to connect the Sonos to Sound Cloud, and then unlink a couple of rooms I had accidentally linked.  I hate technology!

I have gone back to carrying a note book in my back pocket.  I often find the need to jot something down, but when I take out my phone to do that, I can distracted by one of the evil numbered notifications, telling me I have an email or a text – or something else irrelevant to the note I wanted to take.  Suddenly the ADD me is down through the rabbit hole and the creative me is distracted!

I am a techno idiot, yet I work in the game industry.  Something went wrong somewhere, huh?  Aren’t you supposed to do what you love?

And I guess I don’t really mean that, I love my job.  Right now, I especially love my boss and my colleagues, and I love Star Wars.  It’s just a lot less creative that it has been at other times at EA.  It’s a lot more politics and stress.  Whatever, it’s a good job, and it’s well paid – and duh, it’s Star Wars!   How much of a whiner can I really be.  I love it.  I am really lucky.

I also have the coolest business cards on the planet (thanks, Greg!)

But there have been times that my job has also really nourished my personal side.  It has afforded me the opportunity to travel, to see different places I never would have seen.  I have walked the great wall of China because of this job.  I have seen some amazing live bands in Austin, I’ve hit house clubs in Chicago.  I know New York pretty well now – I’ve come out of clubs there and thrown snowballs in the virgin snow at 2am.  I’ve walked the empty street, and hailed the cabs at the busiest times.  I’ve seen friends and eaten midnight curries at dives so packed with fairy lights you have to duck your head.  I used to get to fly home to London once a month (business class, thanks EA) when working on Batman.  I flew to New Zealand dozens of times when working on Lord of the Rings.  Sometimes I didn’t even stay overnight.  I partied with hobbits, drank cocktails with Liv Tyler and Christian Bale and voice-directed Ian McKellen and Christopher Lee (to name but a few).  I have eaten in the best restaurants in the world, and drunk the best wines. I have been to more strip clubs than I care to remember, I have ice-skated at a private event on opening night at the Rockerfella centre.  I have run along canals in Stockholm, walked red carpet movie premiers in Berlin – all on the company dime. And I appreciated every minute of it.  My company even gave me a 4-month paid sabbatical and I got to ride a motorbike from San Francisco to the tip of Argentina.  (The blog’s cover photo was taken in Bolivia on that trip.)  That’s a whole other blog:

Mortocycle Trip for SF to Tierra del Feugo (2Up on a bike)

and a whole other set of pictures:

San Francisco to Ushuaia


Seriously, who gets this lucky?

Some of my roles afforded me the opportunities to really grow as a person.  I have managed movie feature-length budget, and produced live action movies – and I have learnt from the best people, and worked with the best teams.  I have been surrounded by talented and creative individuals – and often I have been able to touch and contribute to the games I am making.

And now?  What now?  I have Evie, so maybe my priorities are changing.  I love my boss, and I love my colleagues.  I really do.  I actually love and appreciate all the teams I work with – but maybe I miss the creative side.  I don’t know.  I don’t mean to sound like a whiner.  I really do appreciate what I have.  Maybe this is just a phase.  I feel like I have been in a bit of a fog since having Evie.  I had the easiest pregnancy imaginable.  I absolutely loved every second of it.  I would be pregnant forever if I could be – LOL!  And I love having a baby.  I mean, duh!  But I feel like my mind might be clearing.  Is this because I am weaning her?  I don’t know.  It certainly isn’t because I am getting more sleep.  I am probably getting less – and that is my own fault.  (My dream baby has always slept through the night, and even to this day, she sleeps for at least 12 hours.)

So what is it?  What am I lacking?  Meaning?  Can I do something more meaningful with my life.

I’m trying to figure out when enough is enough.  How much I can really afford to donate?  Where can I make a difference in the world?  How can I be the best person I can possibly be?  Just work hard, and be better, Dobner!  (Sorry, inside joke!)

I’m getting there.  I have a few charities I am passionate about.  Maybe through them I will find the next thing I am looking for.  Next time go to England, Evie will be a few weeks shy of 2 years old.  I am going to take her to Oxford and show her Mummy’s college.  Daddy will come, too.  Maybe we will take her punting again.  I’m thinking of trying to really do something actionable to help the homeless situation in San Francisco.  I am donating every penny I can.

The world is our oyster.  Count your blessings.  I am counting mine.  There are lots of them.

For now, enough is enough🙂.


I thought I was done with blogging, but it seems it wasn’t done with me.  Last Sunday, I went to church (!)  I had heard several times, that Glide was a “different” kind of church.  In fact, it describes itself as a “celebration”.

I was encouraged by the fact that I was with the  Claudia (who took the photo above) – and that I didn’t immediately burst into flames as I walked in the door!

The opening prayer is displayed on a large screen, and ends “Halleluja, Shalom, Right On, Namaste”!  This set the scene for a fantastic service full of love.  In fact, love (specifically “self love”) is the central theme.  There was much talk of “losing religion, and finding faith”. One of my favourite quotes was “Don’t use Jesus to be a narrow-minded bigot”!

I went to a Catholic school, but haven’t been to church in years.  (Not since I asked a vicar if I could have sex with my boyfriend, and he told me I would go to hell if I did!)  I loved the non-denominational  aspect, the charity, the handing-out of fans, and tissues… but most of all I liked the music.  Wow, that choir can sing.  It made my heart resonate.  I cried throughout most of the service.

People think I am tactile, but I don’t really like to be touched unless I am initiating it.  I was perturbed at the suggestion we should embrace our neighbours, until I saw the joy and happiness in it.  At one point, an old man (wearing a perfectly-tied double windsor) took his shoes and socks off, snuggled up to me and started snoring.  Claudia held on to me and we laughed and laughed.

The central message, at least on this Sunday, was to relax, to try and love yourself, to chill the “f”out, and let the God, Allah  the universe (or whatever you call it) take care of you.  I am going to try and work on that.  Maybe I shouldn’t have been striving so hard.  I have experienced this a few times over the last few months.  If you just take a step back, things sometimes come to you.

(A quick anecdote on this, nothing to do with god/religion/faith, I wanted tickets to an Ed Sheeran concert this this week and was disappointed they were sold out.  I started to try and “produce” them and find ways to just bulldoze it and make it work.  As soon as I took my foot off the pedal, they dropped into my lap.  Of course, not everything is going to be easy, but I am trying to be thankful for every little bit of life.)

I do know, that in my darkest days, there was a support there that I didn’t know was there.

When in doubt, eat. 

I’m sure it is all fine.  The tech wouldn’t tell me anything except a couple of the cysts are growing (one is at least 12 cms in diameter now).  There is at least one attached to an ovary (which I knew) and now several in the liver (which is new). 

In better news, fries!