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THE BORGATA CASINO, the newest casino that ATLANTIC CITY has to offer: A-

THE RUMOR THAT CONOR OBERST IS MOVING TO BROOKLYN, as promoted by punk rock scenesters: B+

OATMEAL ON THE GO BARS, a new snackie snack from the people at Quaker: B+

GERMANY, one of those countries in Europe: B-

GOING ALONE TO THE MOVIES, a pastime that millions of lonely filmophiles enjoy: C+

VENUS RAZOR, the blatant attempt by those wily GILETTE people to corner the ladies' razor market: D+

THE NEW MAN SHOW, the barely funny original soldiers on with two new hosts: F

MTV's VMA AWARDS, a tired, forced, pathetic attempt at seeming relevant and edgy: F-


QUAKER OATMEAL ON THE GO BARS: It's not quite your grandmother's oatmeal cookies, but my grandmother didn't bake so I take what I can get. Quaker's "Oatmeal On the Go" is kind of like an oatmeal cookie crossed with a granola bar. The "mixed berry" flavor doesn't really taste like berries, but it doesn't taste gross, either. (The bar contains freeze dried blueberries and strawberries and sort of reminded me of Crunchberries, but not so sweet.) The bar is more round than square, which is a little startling at first. It's also a little dry, but a dollop of corn syrup (I'm guessing) makes sure the bar doesn't flake off in an oatmeal mess all over your shirt. There are 6 grams of fat in the bar, a little less than the granola bars I usually eat. The Oatmeal on the Go bars are in my desk drawer, where I'll be sure to keep a constant supply. I had one before hitting the bar after work last week and could down lager like a champ. Look for the "baked apple" flavor, which probably tastes more like applies than this does like berries. Either way, the flavor is pretty good and provides that necessary solid foundation for a booze infusion. B+ -- Aileen Gallagher

MTV's VMA AWARDS: Like three drowning victims giving each other mouth-to-mouth, Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera desperately tried to steal the show -- and revive their careers -- at this year's edition of MTV's VMA Awards. Sadly all the three-way kiss did was set the tone for the rest of the evening, a tired by-the-numbers affair marked by production glitches, unrehearsed performances and boob cleavage, which is once again back in style after last year's flirtation with ass cleavage. This year's low-lights include: MTV cutting away to Justin Timberlake any time Britney Spears' name was mentioned; Beyonce's hair weave, which was so massive it ate her microphone and made her stop lip-synching; blatant shilling by presenters, none of which seem to know how to read a teleprompter; and Duran Duran's disastrous lifetime achievement award, in which none of the band's videos aired. Best remembered as three hours of a desperate, pathetic attempt to stay relevant, the 2003 VMA Awards are most notable for ruining an incredible hosting job by Chris Rock, who rose above the show like a fly in shit. F- -- Eric Gillin

GERMANY: This is a big country. They really like to drink beer here, which has its points. And the most popular thing to eat at festivals is this stuff called "Rote," which is roast bratwurst, or rather, as Americans might call it, a "big hot dog." They're served in small rolls, so of course it looks like you're snacking on a parboiled schlong with mustard on it, but whatever you do, don't have more than one of these within 48 hours. That is, unless you're fond of shitting out giant amber-


hued turds that set off fire alarms in the entire city. Thankfully, Germans seem to know this, and they wear deodorant too, which is more than one can say for a lot of the countries that border them. B- -- Dave Gaffen

THE RUMOR THAT CONOR OBERST IS MOVING TO BROOKLYN: That bible of scene gossip, Buddyhead, reported on August 20th that Bright Eyes wunderkind Conor Oberst is leaving Omaha to "bruise little girls' gashes" in Brooklyn. This brings to the surface a couple of questions: 1. Does this signal the initial fraying of the Omaha/Saddle Creek indie-cock scene? and 2. What do you think Oberst's 'get out of Nebaraska shirt' looked like? This rumor has to score a good grade because instead of pointing out Bright Eyes lookalikes on Bedford Ave. and laughing to yourself in your pretentious-as-fuck ways, you can actually point out Bright Eyes himself and laugh to yourself in that giggling-because-you-really-do-love-celebrities-even-small-who-cares-ones way. Also he'll bring hot 14-year-olds closer to me, always a plus. B+ -- Joey Arak

THE NEW MAN SHOW: Old Man River just stepped on a flaming pile of dog shit and it's called "The Man Show". "The 'new' Man Show" that is. By removing the two factors which made "The Man Show" a success, namely Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carrola, we are now subjected to a cacophony of useless tirades and pointless skits delivered to us by two humor-impaired hosts. The show has been regurgitated, retooled, and spewed at us in a most unsettling way. Before we could bask in the glory of witty quips, banter, man-o-vations, and escapades with garbage men. Make no mistake, these same old gimmicks are still there, however they are now utilized without all that pesky comedy to get in the way. Comedy Central basically got us to laugh real, real hard, and then kicked us right in the nuts. This is crap, and Old Man River is pissed. I award Comedy Central no points, and may God have mercy on its collective soul. F -- Shane Abramovitch

VENUS RAZOR: Venus, by Gillette, is just another rip-off cosmetic item for women, which, at $8.50, costs 50 cents more than the Mach Three. Because of the expensive and retarded ad campaign, the razor body is a vomitus pink, and the blades are surrounded with "soft protective cushions." Also, Gillette offers an Indicator® strip located above the blades. The Mach Three does not offer any of these gimmicks, and it works much better. I had to shave at least three times a week with the Venus (compared to two with the Mach Three). The "soft protective cushions" actually stimulated my leg hair growth. It really got thicker. And, I don't need a bullshit Indicator® strip that is rigged to wear off long before the razor is dull to get me to buy more blades. I am a woman, not a moron. D+ -- Kathie Fries

GOING ALONE TO THE MOVIES: Flying solo at the local cineplex was once reserved for hardcore cinephiles and fat guys who carried twenty-sided die. Today, with the amount of schlock being hemorrhaged by Hollywood, odds are you will eventually be forced to attend a movie by your lonesome to watch some pile-o-shit sequel that plays on your overly nostalgic instincts. Sure, there are advantages to being the High Plains Drifter of the movie house: you can sit wherever you want; you avoid the discomfort of gas pains since you don't have to hold in your farts for two hours, and you get to watch movies without an unperceptive companion constantly asking, "Wait, is Freddy the one in the hockey mask?" But going it alone leaves your dignity open to such potentially damaging attacks as listening to canoodling couples mock you for being a giant loser, or worse, having some teenager in a Slipknot shirt peg you in the back of the head with a Milk Dud. Fucking kids. C+ -- S.E. Shephard

THE BORGATA CASINO, ATLANTIC CITY: I understand why casinos insist on glaring, headache-inducing lights overhead and loud, nauseous carpets below: together they create a state of vertigo that forces you to keep your eyes leveled directly on the slot machines. Far be it from me to argue with this as a business practice, but as décor it's positively infuriating. Either the Borgata doesn't employ such tactics, or its designers managed to do it with much more subtlety. Either way, subdued lighting and a calm color scheme make it a much more pleasant -- and classy -- place to lose your money than Caesar's Palace or even the Taj. The free drinks include bottled beer and top shelf liquor, all of which are served in actual glasses (if there is anything I loathe it's drinking scotch from a plastic cup), the waitresses are attractive, and the poker tables are baby-soft green suede. The only drawback is the isolated Marina location, which prevents casino-hopping. A- -- Tom Hoban

RAISIN BRAN CRUNCH: Raisin Bran always was a cereal cock-tease for me, flirting with becoming my primary cereal of choice but never quite making that leap. It always seemed a healthier alternative to cereals like Cookie Crisp, Cocoa Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Bacon-Fried Doughnuts -- but it's dull flavor and extreme milk-enduced sogginess could never put it over the top. Then I met my good friend Raisin Bran Crunch. Kellogg's website describes it as, "Crunchy flakes with oats and honey granola clusters and raisins." Fuck yeah, Kellogg's! It takes traditional Raisin Bran, and completely flips its shit around by throwing in sweet, crunchy, delicious clusters. An added bonus is the ready-to-go 11.2-ounce version, where you just peel back the lid and add milk, then you're off to school, work, or more likely, cereal heaven. To prove how good Raisin Bran Crunch is, I offer you this: I am eating it right now. As I type this. At 2:20 in the afternoon! This would get an A+ if it weren't for the raisins' tendency to stay at the bottom of the 11.2-ounce cup. I don't want to have to dig for those treasures. A -- J.A.









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