Metaphysical anatomy

Eyes

I am quite a visual person despite being a writer. I love looking at many simple, everyday things, such as fruit and veggies. Eggplants and mangoes are gorgeous. My eyes are constantly setting frames everywhere, finding things to photograph or things to be inspired with. I watch the world with the eyes of a journalist, artist and a writer. Sometimes this combination creates a sensory and perceptive overload.

Photography has been an important hobby for me since the mid-1990s. I can't really pick my favorite subject - I enjoy shooting nature, macros, long exposure, photojournalism (especially events), food photography, portraits, animals, abstract and surreal and street photography. Sometimes I also take stock photos. I've been shooting video and making short movies for a long time, though unfortunately I don't currently have any equipment for that.

Plentitude of colors is essential to me. I hate dressing in black, gray or brown, I can't really even imagine doing it. I do have a few black shirts, but you'd never find black shoes in my closet. Red is my favorite color, in all of its hues except for baby pink. I'm also fond of emerald green and many different shades and hues of blue. Give me white over black any day.

Ears

I believe I'm pretty much tone deaf. I couldn't sing in tune to save my life, but fortunately you don't have to understand music to be able to appreciate it. I mostly listen to electronic music - almost all varieties of it - but I also dig good melodic rock and many artists that would be silly to classify under one label. Some music that I like would not be considered by some to even be music.

It is hard to say what makes a particular band or song appeal to me. I mostly listen to rock sung by male singers - Bon Jovi, the Beatles, CMX and Nick Cave - but I also love Björk. Ambient is one of my favorite genres of music, yet I many of my favorite genres feature a high BPM. I enjoy dark ambient, darkwave and EBM, but also admit bouncing to happy hardcore. Still I'd say that goa trance is my favorite style in music, but it changes all the time. Luckily I don't have to choose. That would be boring.

Eyes and ears

I don't watch much TV, though I do like documentaries and good (mostly non-Hollywood) movies. Riget is by far my favorite TV series. I've also enjoyed some more mainstream ones, such as Weeds, The Big C, E.R., jPod and Freaks and Geeks. I'm very fond of the Finnish travel series Madventures. Louis Theroux and Stephen Fry are my heroes. I find Monty Python, Bill Hicks, Whose Line Is It Anyway and South Park funny. Most other comedies leave me cold.

My favorite movie directors are Lars Von Trier and Pedro Almodovar. I prefer indie/non-Hollywood movies and especially Spanish, South American and Danish movies for some reason. Many French and Italian movies also appeal to me.

I'm also into the demoscene, a computer art subculture which is about demos, real-time calculated audiovisual presentations. I founded the demogroup Numedia Cyclops in 2002 and we've released a few demos and wild demos. I'm also a member and co-founder of foobug, which is now mostly inactive, but we made a few intros in 2000 and 2001 that won prizes at Assembly.

Nose

I love the word "olfactory". And I also love good smells. Baking something nice is probably the best scent of all, but also fragrances like fresh ginger, mandarines and fresh pineapple. The smell of frying garlic is guaranteed to make me ravenously hungry. Incense is great too. I have a big collection of it so I don't get tired of any one smell, but Lily of the valley would probably be my favorite. Scented candles and essential oils are a good alternative.

Mouth

I'm a vegetarian and I usually cook and bake vegan food. I feel like cooking is an artform for me, both the process and the results (I like photographing food, but eating it is even better). On the other hand, I also have a keen interest on clinical nutrition, which I've been studying as a hobby since 1999. So it's both science and art. And the results had better be delicious, as well.

I'm constantly on a journey to find great new flavours and ingredients. Finnish food in general is tasteless and bland, so it's unappealing to me. I often cook ethnic food, especially Indian, but also Indonesian, Thai, Chinese, South American, Mediterranean and total fusion kitchen. Often I find myself eating stuff that no one I know has even heard of. My love for different cuisines led to the birth of my food blog Vegventures. I'm working on a food book that was supposed to be out in 2012, but unfortunately as my health was sabotaged it has been postponed indefinitely. Sometimes cooking feels like composing a symphony, sometimes like it's only about doing dishes and cleaning up.

My favorite ingredients and spices include mushrooms, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, coriander seed, fresh ginger, fresh basil and parsley. I have hundreds of different ingredients and spices in my cupboard. I love most fruit and berries, but especially mango, cherimoya, pineapple, blackberries and cherries.

I love tea - black, white, green, herbal, anything goes. I have a collection of dozens of different kinds of teas from sencha to hand-picked raspberry leaves. I don't drink coffee or alcohol.

Hands

I enjoy working with my hands, even though I'm not particularly skilled at it. I have very long fingernails, but I don't mind getting my hands dirty. Painting, baking, cooking, I even like things most people detest, such as most cleaning. I work with many forms of digital art, but also old-fashioned painting. I am becoming more and more interested in building traditional 3D art, such as sculpture and 3D collages.

I've been a writer since I was a kid. When I was five I already knew I wanted to do it for a living. I've written poetry, short stories, essays, articles, columns, novels and textbooks. My first novel Marian ilmestyskirja, a story about disability, chronic illness and otherness, was published in October 2011. My second novel Makuuhaavoja is also on this subject. You can read more about my writing at my writer bio.

Feet

My feet enjoy walking and dancing, sometimes also playing Wii Fit. I've given them more respect ever since I almost completely lost my ability to walk in late 2006, an experience you never really forget. Dancing is a form of meditation to me. And if I could, I'd be running around all the time. Sadly I've had problems with shin splints and plantar fasciitis, complications from my hypopituitarism, since 2009.

I also think that high heels are wicked and masochistic devices, but I guess that podiatrists and orthopedists need something to work on.

Heart

I rather think of the concept of heart metaphorically than physically, because most people aren't really interested in the intricacies of the myocardium.

I'm not really a positive or negative person, a pessimist or an optimist. I would still not call myself a realist, because I think that is suggestive of having an "objective" view of the world which isn't really possible. I used to suffer from major depression for over a decade, but now I've been quite happy for several years, even living through some thoroughly awful periods. In the end my depression remitted on its own, without medical treatment. I could say I had some cognitive behavioral therapy with myself.

I have been together with my husband since 1999, though we only got married in 2010. He is a talented programmer and musician, but we also fancy many of the same things, such as cooking, photography and tending plants. I am a boring monogamous heterosexual, though I don't mind what other people do in their bedrooms (and I love gay prides). Procreation is not on my todo list.

I am a very empathetic person, which is both good and bad. I feel very happy when good things happen to people, even strangers, such as a new medication is found for an illness, even if I don't know anyone with that illness. But it also means I feel miserable when thinking about bad things that happen. Especially hearing about people being treated unjustly makes my blood boil.

I have a passion for helping people, especially the disabled. I try to save the world as much as I can. If I can't have a revolution, at least I can take many smaller steps. I believe that changing just one person's life is changing one world. It also really seems like that when you help others, it comes back to you, sometimes in a way that you wouldn't have expected, though this is not why I do it.

I don't really fancy non-living things all that much, except for books and camera equipment, which I feel are in their own special category.

Spleen

People have allocated the heart as a place for warm and positive feelings, but I'm not aware of any body part dedicated to negative feelings in the Western culture. Thus I decided to choose spleen, which is wonderfully arbitrary, but also justified somehow, as spleen collects lymph (crap) from different parts of the body. Spleen also used to be associated with evil in the medieval ages.

I loathe dishonesty, abuse and injustice. I hate fascism, including everything that interferes with pro-choice ideas. I don't like my original "home" country (Finland) at all, for many different reasons, including several already mentioned in this paragraph.

Following traditions for traditions's sake is definitely not for me. This also goes for things like "family ties". It doesn't matter if someone is my relative if I don't like them. Life is too short to engage in pretension.

Online body

Online I've been known as DiamonDie since 1997. I used to do Usenet and many different forums, but for now I'm most active on IRC (Internet Relay Chat). You can find me on numerous IRCnet channels. I don't do instant messengers because they suck. Sorry. (Well, actually you can find me on MSN and Skype if you try, but I'd prefer IRC). I am not on MySpace or Facebook or any of the fancy things except for Twitter and LinkedIn, but due to a momentarily lapse of sanity many years ago I have an inactive profile on Orkut. I don't recommend joining that place, unless you enjoy getting weird messages in SMS language from Brazilians and Pakistanis, but I did find one of my best friends there in 2006, go figure.

To me, there is no real reason to separate between the "online world" and the "real world". I prefer to meet my online friends in real life too. Obviously it isn't always possible, but I have still managed to meet hundreds of my online contacts from over a dozen different countries. Most of them have been even nicer in real life, and none of them have turned out to be pedophiles (and if there have been any murderers, they've been picky).

Due to my honesty I often end up as a controversial figure online. I've lost count on how many times I've been banned, verbally abused, harassed, told "my opinions are not valid" and even how many times I've received death and other threats, simply because I've dared to voice controversial opinions - such as "violence isn't good and does not solve problems" (gasp!) or "the state does not own your body and cannot tell you what you may do with it" (the horror!). It's not something I'd brag about, but it serves as a constant reminder about the absurdity of humankind and its "legit" mantra opinions.

Physical body

I live in a body ravaged by several chronic illnesses, even though most people don't notice it. Most disabilities aren't visible (well, in reality they, including mine, are well visible in several ways, but most people do not realize it), the same way most qualities about a person aren't. Disability doesn't mean just being blind or sitting in wheelchair. Beware, we may be anywhere. Many people are handicapped by their attitudes, which can be more limiting than physical disability.

I am 28 years old and originally from Helsinki, Finland, but currently living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Getting out of Finland was one of the best things that has happened to me. If I was healthy, I'd hopefully be travelling around the world with my camera.

The most important thing about my body is that I own it. Our bodies are our own property and you should never let anyone else tell you otherwise.

Appearance

I don't use makeup and only wear clothes that I like, regardless of whether they are trendy or otherwise socially acceptable - I don't stop wearing something if it suddenly becomes hip. I see no reason to use contact lenses, because glasses have never been a problem for me. This has led some narrow-minded people to conclude I am a nerd who pays no attention to her appearance. Once a German guy wanted to give me a "makeover" from H&M. I guess he had no idea how humorous this sounded to me.

I prefer to wear very colorful 60s and 70s style clothing. Bell bottoms and long skirts are the best thing. Everything with rainbow colors tends to get my approval. Sometimes I tone my hair red, because I have always wished I was born a redhead, but I don't have the energy to keep up with permanent dyes. Ever since I was a kid I have wanted to dye my hair green, but have never found the guts to do so. Maybe this is something I will do when I'm 64. Rainbow-colored hair would be awesome, and this is not because I didn't get to play with My Little Ponies enough when I was a child, as my husband seems to insist.

Brain

I used to have a love/hate relationship with my brain, because my illness caused me severe cognitive difficulties. I haven't forgotten my own name, but it hasn't always been far. Luckily they are mostly solved now thanks to medicine (if you're interested: low dose naltrexone, piracetam and nimodipine). I chose those medications myself and my doctor agreed to prescribe them for me. More recently the part of my body that has unfortunately most come to define me is my pituitary, since severe hypopituitarism affects everything I do - and even more importantly, what I can't do. It means acute stress is life-threatening for me, but unfortunately also causes permanent, cumulative damage and many people have taken advantage of that.

I'm one of those people with way too many interests. I can find myself into almost anything - yes, I enjoyed reading encyclopedias as a kid. It probably isn't surprising that Google, Wikipedia and PubMed are among my favorite pastimes. I used to be very good at math (the best in my school actually), but that skill has almost completely vanished as a result of the cognitive problems.

I've always liked science and medicine is currently my main interest. Pharmacology (especially neuropharmacology) comes first, but I also find myself into neurology, endocrinology, immunology, oncology, psychiatry, clinical nutrition. Being able to understand how the human body works is fascinating. I hope to write more medical textbooks in the future.

Politics also interests me, how the society works (or more often, doesn't work). I am a very left-liberal absolute pacifist anticapitalist, and of course a feminist too. I like philosophy, sociology and cognitive science, though they've become second to my passion for medicine. I don't believe in god, but I don't see why I should define my spiritual world view in a single word invented by someone else. Moral is much more important to me than law. I am not an anarchist, but I have very little respect for authority. I'm interested in transhumanism, but not sure if I want to define myself with that ideology. I'd probably be classified as a "moderate transhumanist".

Since an early age I've been fond of surrealism and out of ordinary things in general. When I was younger I was into some occult stuff. I've ditched that long ago, but still have a keen interest in surreal, psychedelic and visionary art, slipstream and things like that. I love black and absurd humor as well as elaborate pranks. I also dig unusual combinations of things, and if you tell me something can't be done, you're just daring me.