Monday, January 10, 2011


From January 3rd – 5th I had my first gambling adventure in about a year.  My father received a free room at the Borgota Casino in Atlantic City for two consecutive nights and we chose to utilize its beauty.

As we become adults it is harder to find the same thrills that titillated us during our childhood years without resorting to jumping out of a perfectly functional airplane.  Fewer discoveries seem to be ahead of us and the monotony of adulthood has set in too deep.  Compared to childhood, that is, when a mere snow day was enough to make us collapse in a fit of ecstasy.  But the color scheme of a casino brings it all back with a vengeance.

Most casinos seem to have more slot machines than employees.  Think about it!  Slot machines are like the cogs of the Industrial Revolution.  They take away the need for manpower and just sit there mindlessly.  Slothful and only once in a while dispensing change to placate those who pour their hard-earned money into their innards.  You can pace the floor and continue finding machines with themes more dissimilar than the last.  There are slot machines dedicated to the Wonderful World of Oz, the “Airplane!” spoof, and even the intrinsic universe of Anime.  It is all designed for mass appeal so we feel anesthetized by an adult cartoon while losing money.

I gamble only once or twice a year because I know that I would lose control and all my cash if it became a regular habit.  During my last year at Hobart and William Smith Colleges it was difficult to resist the temptation of the Turning Stone Casino and transform into a veritable Gambling Monster.  I called myself…GAMBLOR!  The casino turned me into a winner when reality was not generous about giving me any breaks.  I could not resist escaping from a college campus where some fellow students feared and even hated me.  The statistics make it possible for individuals to win once in a while regardless of how unlucky you happen to be.  Once in a while, I would return with enough money to pay for an entire month’s worth of gas.  But most of the time, I would be a couple hundred to four hundred dollars in the hole.  No matter how conservative an individual tends to be…gambling is always a lose-lose proposition.  (Have you ever wondered WHY casinos are so lavish?  Where do you think the money comes from?  People LOSE!)  I abused the thrill in a desperate quest to find self-esteem or anything at all.

This trip was different because I am older and wiser.  I came into the experience with the knowledge that any money I gamble with is money that I should expect to lose.  I gambled more conservatively and did not make the mistake of putting one hundred dollars on the table to get back my losings and then some.  When I had over one hundred dollars in winnings…I left with that amount and deposited a one hundred dollar bill into my savings account.

As individuals with Asperger’s syndrome…we have become accustomed to failure and disappointment more so than others with the social talent that is never natural for us.  Gambling superficially filled that void for me.  Blackjack has always been my game and I’ve never tried anything else aside from making a two-dollar bet on a racehorse.  There is so much more to the game than trying to not go over the number 21 and beating the dealer.  The dealer must continue hitting up until sixteen so the basic strategy is to take advantage of this rule and force the mechanical human being to go bust.

Since my brief addiction with gambling from those college days, I have found other ways to fill that void and know that I do not need gambling or anything similar to know that I am a winner!  I hope you know the same feeling from reading my book and pursuing your own endeavors.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year’s Day and a New Beginning for 2011!

“Another year over!  A New One just begun…” – John Lennon

Happy 2011 everybody!  I assume everyone had a wonderful night and did not feel guilty for sleeping until past 11:00 a.m. as I did this morning!

Today is a time of recollection in which to examine where we were last January 1st, 2010 compared to where we are today.  One year ago, I was inundated with relief after a very exciting, but frightening year with my family.  Nobody ever warned me how difficult it would be to write a book!  Those moments of euphoria last only a few days after learning one of the largest publishing companies in the world wants to grant you (a struggling writer) a book deal.  2009-2010 had been twelve months of haggard writing, editing, re-writing, and constant Writer’s Block.  My book was created out of desperation and fear of miserable failure.  But the start of last year finally produced a long-awaited sense of relief.  My book was completed and all that was left was checking for typos.  It was not perfect, but perfect enough to let go and wait patiently until its publication last April 6th, 2010.

I have had nearly an entire year of knowing what it feels like to be a published author.  These days I am treated more like a celebrity as opposed to the more common-psychopath/stalker.  It is now my job to ensure others have the chance to be successful who share my unique challenges.  Perhaps when they read my book they will start to extend this newfound admiration toward others just like me.  My goal is to give them a fighting chance…

My incredible publicist, Victor is still working with me even though all of his contractual obligations have expired at least two months ago.  We are turning my book into a philanthropy campaign in which thirty-five percent of my royalties shall be given away to support services for families affected by autism.  Right now, there is absolutely no money to give away, but hopefully this will dramatically change in the future.  I am also inundated with an anti-bullying campaign riding on a YouTube video created at my old middle school.  My beliefs have never centered around “letting go.”  I cannot let go of embedded scars and have never believed in “letting go.”  I believe in returning to a house of torment and fixing something that could still be broken.  This is why I returned to Arlington Middle School to confront the bullying I experienced fourteen years ago and stop the torment that continues today.  Who is going to stand up for all the Jesse Saperstein’s of today?  Here is the link to my YouTube video and please pass it on to as many people as possible.

I am one year older, but feel like I am looking in the same mirror as last year.  Last New Year’s Day I was nearing the 200-pound milestone and did a great job of losing over ten pounds before springtime.  My sedentary lifestyle of answering e-mails all day has certainly taken its toll, however.  Now I have surpassed 200-pounds and must reverse the damage as soon as possible.  I am sure I’ll fight to get my body back and will sit back with accomplishment when it actually happens.  But this year, maybe I will not be quick to sit back and assume the problem is fixed forever.  I won’t let it creep back up again!  And I have already come up with copyrighted lines to say to people who are shocked by the future weight loss.  How about, “I am back, baby!”
Thank you to all the friends, family members, and supporters who have made 2010 so incredible for me!  I love receiving your e-mails and will try to respond in a timely fashion.  Just be patient because I sometimes receive more than I can keep up with! My special appreciation goes out to those individuals who were with me from Day One…well before I saw my dream come to fruition last year.  I hope all of us have SO much to look forward to in 2011!!