I have cancer.
Thursday December 13th 2007, 1:26 pm
Filed under: Leukemia

Friends,

One week ago today, I was diagnosed with pre-B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells. For a week, I have been trying to compose my thoughts on exactly how to explain this to you, and to build up the strength to type this message. But ultimately, there will be time for my feelings on the matter, explanations of how I got to where I am, and all of the rest.

Know that I am home in Denver with my family and have been undergoing intense chemotherapy since last week. Although it has been very physically and emotionally difficult, and will continue to be for quite sometime, all indicators point to the fact that the treatments are doing what they’re supposed to. I have undergone some surgery, and will continue to undergo surgeries at regular intervals to make sure everything is going well.

I know many of you have already heard about my diagnosis, as evidenced by the overwhelming deluge of calls, emails, and care packages. Your love has given me a tremendous amount of strength, but please understand that I may not feel up to responding on an individual basis for some time. If you call my phone, one of my family members may answer, and would be happy to discuss what is going on. It might also ring through to voicemail–I assure you that even if you don’t hear back from me, I know that you’ve called and it means a great deal to me.

Both David Reiman and Jason Shwartz have also availed themselves to try to help coordinate information, and have very generously offered to allow people to contact them for broader updates. Reiman’s email is david.reiman@yale.edu and Jason’s is jasonshwartz@hotmail.com.

I have been in the hospital for a week, and there is talk that if tomorrow’s surgery goes well, I might able to go home to my parent’s house this weekend. I will be in and out of the hospital for a while, especially during the first month of intense chemo. During this first month, I will for sure not be leaving Denver. After that, if things go well, there is a seven month period of continued chemo that, while intense, might allow me to travel a bit more. Following this, there will be ongoing chemotherapy for three years. Honestly, I don’t know what that means for coming back to New York City, or for any other life plans. It is going to be a long road to recovery, and part of keeping my head on straight will be taking the process one day at a time.

For specific concerns relating to Better Than The Machine, please contact Paul Syracuse at paul.syracuse@gmail.com. We will be trying to update contact information uniformly for that stuff soon.

Feel free to send this on to anyone you want to. I’m bad at keeping track of people’s emails, and don’t want want to imply that be not sending it on to someone specific, I don’t want people to know about my condition.

I love you all and appreciate all of your love and support,

–Reid.



Thank You
Monday December 10th 2007, 12:44 am
Filed under: Leukemia

I want to thank all of you for your love and support.

More information soon.

–Reid.



BTTM Videos No Longer Weekly, Broken Arm (new video)
Tuesday December 04th 2007, 7:11 am
Filed under: Better Than The Machine

Better Than The Machine’s officially getting out of the weekly video business, as announced in this week’s new vlog featuring Paul and his friend La Montage. Check it out here:

We had planned to release a few more weekly videos before switching to a less rigged schedule, but I broke my arm, so the time seemed right. There’s some weird stuff surrounding the breaking of my arm, but I’ll just say this: my friend who is in Air Force Intelligence said I sounded like I was taking it like a man, so I’m trying to take it like a man. Although Amy might disagree, what with the whimpering in the middle of the night.

Don’t worry; the arm will heal in time. And (just as importantly?) BTTM will still be making new videos and will be releasing them semi-regularly, just not every week. We think that if we’re able to put some more time into each video, and not rush them out to meet a weekly deadline, we’ll be able to put out higher quality videos. We’re just a little tired of people hating on our videos with such ferocity when we’ve worked hard to put one out every week (sorry, MrPoopmouth392, we will not all get AIDS and die).

It just seems to be a better situation where we can spend the time we want on stuff and get stuff to a level we’re happy with before releasing it.

We appreciate all of the crazy support of our fans over the past year. We’ve had a great time making weekly videos, and look forward to making more videos soon. Hell, over 1,100 subscribers, a video over 600,000 hits, and three others over 100,000? Seems like we’ve done pretty good with your help.

Make sure to check betterthanthemachine.net regularly for information on upcoming videos!

–Reid.



Rocky Mountain Hi! (new vlog)
Monday November 26th 2007, 12:35 am
Filed under: Better Than The Machine

This week Better Than The Machine is spending some quality bonding time in my hometown of Denver this week, so we made this vlog in lieu of a full new video:

In the past few weeks, two of our videos–The First Date and Thanksgiving With The Machines–have been featured on YouTube. We’ve also passed 1,100 subscribers. The First Date is approaching 500,000 views! Woo!

Make sure to check betterthanthemachine.net next week for a brand new video!

–Reid.



3A Final Episode (new video)
Wednesday November 21st 2007, 5:16 am
Filed under: The Guys in 3A

Today’s Adventure: Next Season on 3A

Today’s episode of The Guys in 3A is our last for DotComedy. It is a sneak peak of “next season,” which is in quotes because it is fictional. Special thanks to Jason Shwartz, who contributed some awesome animation to the episode.

Also, an especially big thanks to everyone who tuned in to watch the series–it’s been nice knowing that people are out there enjoying these things. We’re not sure what the future holds for 3A at this point, but we’ll let you know as soon as we do. Dave and I have enjoyed making the series, and we still live together in the real world (if not the fictional one), so there’s sure to be something new out of us at some point down the road.

You’ll be the first to know.

–Reid.



Thanksgiving With The Machines (new video)
Monday November 19th 2007, 2:51 am
Filed under: Better Than The Machine

I’m back home in Colorado for Thanksgiving. Speaking of which…

Happy Thanksgiving! Check out our new Turkey Day video “Thanksgiving With The Machines,” in which all of the Machines, sans Carlos who forgot to show up, gather to eat dinner–but first, whoever gives thanks the hardest wins Thanksgiving. I made a real turkey for this, which Amy, Dave, and I will be eating out of the freezer for the next month.

Over the weekend, I preemptively posted an outtake from this video in “honor” of Paul’s 24th birthday. Check it out.

Special thanks to Dave for making a cameo.

The rest of the Machines will be joining me in Colorado later in the week for a private show (hint: it’s for my Dad). We’ll be tearing up Denver and Boulder, and I’m sure we’ll make a video to prove it.

This past week, we passed 1,000 subscribers on YouTube, largely due to our video “The First Date” being featured. It’s a pretty awesome milestone.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving, and make sure to check betterthanthemachine.net next week for a brand new video!

–Reid.



The First Date featured on YouTube!
Monday November 12th 2007, 3:45 am
Filed under: Better Than The Machine

Just noticed that our video “The First Date” is featured on YouTube’s Comedy community today! Woo!

Repost!:

–Reid.



Better Know Your Machines: Matt Gallo (new video)
Monday November 12th 2007, 3:09 am
Filed under: Better Than The Machine

This week’s Better Than The Machine video happened mostly without me. On top of pneumonia, I now also have bronchitis. Needless to say, I’m ready to get on with my life.

Today we’re proud to present the first installment of “Better Know Your Machines,” an ongoing series dedicated to helping you get to better know the members of Better Than The Machine. In today’s episode, we take a look at everyone’s favorite red-headed Machine and discover who Matt Gallo really is, and who Matt Gallo really isn’t:

I contributed a couple of Photoshop gags to this (I always love making Photoshop gags… are you listening, The Daily Show?), but this was mostly Paul and Matt’s work. We’re going to be making one of these for everyone in the group eventually, and we’re going to try to make them all very different. I wrote a little bit of a Film Noir one for myself, and Paul is talking about doing his like a documentary.

Next week: Thanksgiving and giving thanks the Better Than The Machine way.

–Reid.



Chewish Drog Treats For Jewish Dogs
Thursday November 08th 2007, 1:56 am
Filed under: Who Knows?

Dave just sent me a link to Chewish Treats, which, as far as I can tell, are dog toys designed to teach your dog Yiddish. The site claims that your dog will love to schlep the toys around. There’s a fat chicken named Schmaltz. There’s even a donkey named Tuchis!

I wanted to end that last paragraph with a Yiddish phrase for “this is great!”. However, when I got to thinking about the Yiddish I know, it’s all along the lines of “it’s cheap junk” or “he’s an unlucky son-of-a-bitch” or “my house is falling apart, I lost all my money, my kids never call, but at least I still have my health and my balls”. A lengthy Google crawl revealed that’s all anyone on the Internet really knows. I’m beginning to think that this beautiful dying language is only good for complaining and/or insults.

In unrelated news: I have pneumonia. Oy gavalt!

–Reid.



Burdick/Levin ’08
Wednesday November 07th 2007, 4:31 pm
Filed under: The Guys in 3A

This week’s episode of The Guys in 3A: Government! Dave and I are running for President of 3A, and will do whatever it takes to win. Check it out:

–Reid.