Thursday, October 20, 2005

I Hate Best Buy - Lost Musings During Hiatus

Forewarning: this message has basically nothing to do with Lost. I'm just giving you something to do while it is on hiatus.

Hello everyone -

Do you ever walk down the street with headphones on and realize that you are actually walking to the beat of the song you have playing, and you feel like a bad-ass and you wish the people who make the iPod commercials could see you because it would make an awesome ad? Well, I actually feel like that every day when I walk to or from work, but tonight really would have been a good one, except I didn't have the right song playing. I wished I had "The Freaks Come Out at Night" on my iPod, because as I made my way from the El to my place, every time I thought I'd seen the most horrendous costume in the world, a few seconds later someone topped it. I live in, oh, let's say an "eclectic, diverse" neighborhood of characters where grown adults seem to enjoy Halloween to an unhealthy extent. Even though I've lived in this same area for the majority of the past ten years, I did not realize until tonight that they block off all these major streets for some huge block party.

Needless to say, I was disturbed by the freaks, was getting drenched in the rain because I forgot an umbrella, and I decided that it was going to be one of those nights where I just don't feel like doing anything productive. As in, the dreary weather combined with my already depressed state because of Lost's hiatus was not necessarily motivating me to unload the dishwasher and then put the stack of dirty dishes in the dishwasher, or clean up the piles of mail and random papers all over my place, or pack for my upcoming trip or even (gasp!) read about Britney's Heartbreak or find out Why Brad's Falling Apart in my newly-arrived In Touch magazine.

No, instead, the only thing I feel like doing right now is writing my favorite people a little message to tide you over for another week before Lost is back with new episodes. I will still send the "...And Found" write-up next week, but for now I decided it would make sense to cover a bunch of random things that are kind of related to the show that I'd been meaning to mention. So feel free to stop reading because I'm not going to cover anything about any show plot points at all...

Someone out there had some time on his hands and created this flash movie with a bunch of Lost characters, set to Weird Al Yankovic's version of Bohemian Rhapsody. It is not really that great, but still clever in parts. Whoever it was did a good job of matching some of the lyrics with actual happenings on Lost. If you have 5 minutes to spare and are somewhere where you can play Weird Al Yankovic without getting dirty looks or in trouble, then you may find it a nice break.

You first heard about their off-set romance here about a year ago, but the latest is that they may soon be getting engaged.

Remember how I recently achieved my life's goal of watching all three Lord of the Rings extended edition DVDs? Well a few weekends ago I made another momentous achievement when I re-watched nearly all of Lost: Season One (shout-out to TVap, aka Tortellini, without whom this would not have happened). And you know what? D@mmit, my love for this show was reignited. Season One was really incredible, I was moved. I started remembering all of these things that we still don't know the answers to that I'd forgotten about... some little (like when Hurley said he was considered "somewhat of a warrior" back at home and "won 17th place in a tournament" before the crash... what is he referring to?), and some not-so-little (like "who in the heck was Ethan?" and "where is Alex?" and "who did Boone hear over the radio transmission before he fell to his untimely demise?").

Over the last few nights I've been watching the bonus disc - They have the audition tapes of all of the major characters (except Terry O'Quinn/Locke... naturally he was a given because he rocks the house too much). The funny thing is that nearly every male read for the part of Sawyer - the actors who play Jack, Charlie, and even Hurley all initially tried out for Sawyer. I must say they were all horrible for that role, but perhaps I am now biased. The actress playing Sun had first tried out for Kate. It was interesting because they didn't have a set script or a set cast of characters, so they created roles out of thin air for Sayid, Sun, Charlie and Hurley based on the actors' try-outs. Kate was originally supposed to be the "hero" of the show because Jack was supposed to die half-way through the pilot, and Michael Keaton was going to play Jack. Craziness!

No spoilers here, fear not. But it has been widely circulated that Darren Aronofsky, director of cult films like Requiem for a Dream and Pi, will direct an episode of Lost set for May sweeps. I saw Pi and thought it was perhaps one of the worst movies of all time, and I have seen some BAD movies. I have not seen Requiem for a Dream because I generally do not like to watch movies about crazy people bugging out on drugs (except Trainspotting, because I love me some Ewan/Younger Obi-Wan). So am I psyched about this news? Not really. Some people assume because of the drug-related plot of RforaD that his episode will be about "Charlie relapsing in the field o' hero!n," but I guess we'll see. If they get Peter Jackson to be involved in some way, THEN I'll be excited.

If you or a family member works for Best Buy, you might want to stop reading now...

I have been wanting to mention this since the premiere write-up this season, but I seriously get so worked up every time I think about this that I figure it is not good for my health to re-live the pain, and then I move it to the next write-up. Now it is time for me to just vent about this long and hard and then move on. But I should preface this story with the fact that my entire family has a dubious past with Best Buy. For example, my brother sprawled out across their check-out counter and nearly began staging a protest when they wouldn't let him combine reward certificates, and I had written their VP of Customer Service a few years back complaining about a myriad of issues we had after buying our TV from them. Don't even get me started on their web site. Therefore, I had vowed that I would never shop there again. But alas... temptation struck a few months ago, and they reeled me back in...

On the boards, someone posted a link to a special page on where you could get an exclusive Lost bonus disc when you purchased the Season One DVD. I caved. I HAD TO HAVE the bonus disc, for the love of God! But I didn't trust them. I actually took a screenshot of the page because I knew somehow they would screw it up. The screenshot is attached for those of you who are extremely bored, don't believe I was nerdy enough to actually take a screenshot, or unusually sympathetic to my plight. I ordered it in mid-August, knowing that it would be shipped during my two-week vacation in early September.

During my vacation, I actually worried about this stupid bonus disc. My sixth sense was kicking in and I KNEW they would somehow mess up the order. So imagine my surprise upon my return to the country - there was a box from, sitting gloriously atop my stacks o' mail.

But it was not to be. A few days later I finally opened the box. The Lost: Season One DVD set was in there, but I saw no bonus disc. I checked my screenshot before I tore open the box set... hmmm... no, it looked like the bonus disc would be separate. I rummaged through the rest of the mail. No additional box. I opened the DVD set. No bonus disc.

I AM FUMING. Although I'm sure you've figured out from these write-ups that I'm an excitable person, and I am, I would like to think that it takes A LOT to get me mad enough where I start shouting out every swear word in the book and am so seething that I can barely see or think straight. But the plot thickens... I look at the packing slip. IT IS NOT MY NAME ON THE PACKING SLIP?!?!?!!? Although my name was on the outside of the box, on the inside the packing slip had some dude's name on it who lives a few streets behind me?!?!?!! At this point, I'm delirious with anger. I call their frickin' customer service number and of course the guy said that "this was a very complex situation" and that "he would have to escalate this to the research
team" and that "I would be hearing the resolution from them in a few business days." I'm sure all of you would've loved to have heard my conversation with this poor guy. I was like, "Listen to me. I know this is not your fault. And I KNOW that this may seem ridiculous, but I am a HUGE FAN of this show, and the ONLY REASON I bought this from you guys was for this disc. So they better rummage around and find me that d@mn bonus disc, or it is not going to be acceptable."

I hang up with them, but then get another idea. I look up Mr. Probably Got My Bonus Disc on And guess what, he is ON there! AND there's a link to some high school reunion site that lists not only where he obviously went to high school (Glenview South), but also his phone number, his email address, and his age (26). So yes... I called him. Later my husband asked me just exactly what I was hoping to accomplish by doing that, but it doesn't matter, because he never answered and he had no voicemail?!?! What I WOULD HAVE said was "Hey, I know where you live, and if you don't give me MY bonus CD then I will stalk you forever and make your life utterly miserable." No, honestly, I was planning to be quite calm if he answered (I realize this was NOT his fault), and try to explain what happened, see if he got my packing slip, if he even had the bonus CD in the first place, and then invite him to my premiere party because obviously he is also a fan. I never called him back though. But I still have the packing slip... Best Buy research did email me within hours:

Thank you for contacting Best Buy about receiving the promotion with your order. I'm Lou- Ann with Customer Care. We can understand your frustration at not receiving the product and promotion as expected. We show that the promotion you were interested in ordering was included in a special promotion, and was available while supplies lasted. We cannot send the promotion as we no longer have inventory of this item. We apologize for the disappointment this has caused you. Please check back in the future to find out if we offer this promotion again.
Best Wishes from Best Buy,
Lou- Ann and the Best Buy Customer Care Team"

This email will remain in my inbox. Some night in the future, I will come home and perhaps have had too much to drink, or will be upset about something else related to Best Buy, or will be mad about something not even related to this at all. But at that time, I will pull up that email from
Lou-Ann, and I will reply and let her have it.

Until then, if you feel any sense of loyalty toward me after I toil over these write-ups week after week after week - you can repay me by avoiding Best Buy from here on out. I hear Circuit City's not too bad.

Until next week,
- e

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