And I'm forever ragging at you to become a part of one kind of community or another.
There's a breeze, too, and the flashing sign at the community bank tells me it is a balmy 81 degrees, my favorite temperature. People are saying Hi, and they are smiling, bikers showing off cool bicycles, walkers their sneakers, runners, their bods.
We're all out at the bike path by the Chicago River, really a tributary that winds through parkland and splits the city by east and by west. Nobody's impressed by the Chicago River, but the ducks like it, and lush trees that line it seem happy. We get an occasional coyote or deer for excitement.
There's a Little League game going on, and one team is sporting shirts sponsored by Johnny's Ice House. You would think Johnny's is a place to pick up block ice on the way out of town for a road trip, but the Ice House is an indoor hockey rink.
But back up to 6:30 a.m. when I started writing this post. I had been up only an hour, thinking about Daniel Smith and how to pitch his new book, Monkey Mind.
|A definite flavor of the month,|
Daniel Smith's Monkey Mind,
candy for professional
and layman alike.
There’s this saying: Early to bed, early to rise.
And it works, too, assuming anyone could do that, get to sleep early.
Sure, we could get to bed at 10:30. But fall asleep? Too much stim pounding at our brains. FaceBook, Scrabble, YouTube, last week's Burn Notice calling our names. Sometimes we even talk to real people at night. We have tea, make a stab at making love.
To wind it all down before eleven, the dogma is that it's good to avoid eating dinner after 7:00 p.m., and forego, maybe, late night ice-cream. We should lay down, not sit, but lay down that weighted-head so the reticular formation in the brain stem gets a nice blood flow, feels dizzy with oxygen. Best to do this with a good book, something that we can unconsciously drop that won't break.
And yet, our bio-rhythms still may not cooperate.
Driving somewhere last week, listening to a sleep expert on NPR, the talk was about how to figure out how many hours of sleep we really need per night. There's a way to find this out:
Go on vacation.
Go to sleep when tired note the time.
Don’t set an alarm, wake up on your own and again, note the time.
Repeat for a few days.
As the body gets used to the idea that there's no need to get up to do something, it settles into a nice groove, doses itself—no Ambien necessary—to the proper sleep recipe, lending the sleeper a productive next day.
The "cycle" is affected by emotion, by thought. We obsess, we cry. We deliberate, we count. Our angst is palpable. Our hearts beat audibly, our breathing is short and words, countless words, invade our consciousness, usually self-deprecating words.
All that just to introduce the book that put me to sleep at 12:35 a.m. last night, two more pages to go. It's a memoir by a guy who suffered from anxiety for almost all of his conscious life, a Simon and Schuster that reads like really, really, intelligent chick-lit, In other words, gold.
And I have it for you, literally. Nina, the good publicist, sent me not one, not two, but three copies of Monkey Mind. I get to keep one, obviously, to let my anxious mother, brother, sister-in-law, and all of the people I know with anxiety, read it.
The other two are give-aways for the blog!
Other authors to make it to my bedside slush pile, because how else is a person supposed to sleep? We talked a little about this one, ALMOST A PSYCHOPATH. But I don't think I showed any pictures.
|Ronald Schouten, MD, JD|
|James Silver, JD|
For the rest of us,
Almost a Psychopath: Do I or Does Someone I Know) Have a Problem with Manipulation and Lack of Empathy? is better bedside reading than the DSM IV-TR for differentiating between people who merely enjoy playing with us (mischief) and those who can't help themselves, simply have to engage in criminal behavior.
Clear, informative. These professors are among a handful writing for the Almost series at Harvard (publisher, Hazelton), featuring the almost syndromes. Some of us have clusters of features of different disorders but not enough bullet points to qualify for the big prize, a diagnosis. We can't brag, technically, "I AM a psychopath," for example, but we can say we're awfully close.
It is difficult to host a disorder, especially the Axis I disorders like the mood disorders, anxiety, substance abuse, and anorexia. It is an entirely different problem being the host, and infecting/affecting others. By definition, some disorders do this, make everyone else miserable, too, not just the host-- especially the Axis II or personality disorders. That's why it is good to read up on them.
If you're a therapist and you read Almost a Psychopath you'll find your gangbangers, the ones who want to change, and the reformed drug addicts and alcoholics who used to knock down old ladies for their purses. You'll find the people you treat, and you will surely see them with a new set of eyes. Of course if you are a relationship therapist, you might pat yourself on the back and say, Hey! We already do that! We're up to speed on the therapy! And what a feeling that can be.
|John Coates, The Hour Between Dog and Wolf|
The fellow on our left couldn't handle success, couldn't be satisfied as a successful economist and hotshot trader. He had to become a neuroscientist. Those overachievers, seriously.
The book, The Hour Between Dog and Wolf is an everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know about the arousal systems in our bodies. We're triggered (I know, shocking) and we behave. Our senses, ourselves. But if you haven't taken enough biology or psychology courses, and you want a taste of this and a good story, how real traders behave on real trading floors, why, then this one's for you.
And here I thought it was all about gambling, but a little more calculated,with a little more thought. And it is about gambling and risk, the moment, if not the hour, of supreme clarity that motivates the trader to make the trade, to make millions in a moment. Or lose them. Who wouldn't want to read about this?
Because I'm not a medical doctor and because Professor Coates clamors on quite a bit about testosterone, I asked my in-house medical expert to read a few chapters to give me his spin. FD relates the following:
Coates is saying that as the market becomes volatile, hormones (of stocks and commodities traders) are released, among them testosterone. Coates feels that is is testosterone that drives the bigger risks. Could be a good thing, but could be bad that this is the case, but guys, especially, have to be in touch with their bodies, occasionally reel in their drives. We've been saying this all along, you know.
So what is it that turns the dog into a wolf? We want to know!
Our hormonal systems are given plenty of print in the The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, a nice Xmas gift fo the stock broker in the family. It even gives time, if not equal time, to the women on the floor. Theoretically, they should be less successful, no, more successful. Wait until the people at NOW get their hands on the book.
|Bill Knaus, Ed.D, the mind behind|
The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression, 2nd ed.
Excuse me. The pool is about to open. I gotta go change.