In the very first episode of Can't Let Go, host Jakob Lazzaro Can't Let Go of hurricane Maria and drunk freshmen. Paola De Varona latches onto the Floridian power situation after hurricane Irma and bike troubles, and Justin Curto shares tales of adultery and air conditioning. Stories featured in this episode hail from the Washington Post, New York Mag, and the Miami New Times. Transcript below.
Jakob Lazzaro: Hey everyone! Welcome to the very first episode of Can't Let Go, the new podcast from North by Northwestern where we talk about news and personal stories from the week we just Can't Let Go of. I'm your host, Jakob Lazzaro, and I'm here with two of my closest friends – guys, you want to introduce yourselves? Justin Curto: My name’s Justin Curto, I'm a managing editor for the website. I really, really like music, and I live in a terrible dorm so I'm probably going to talk about that a lot.Paola De Varona: My name’s Paola De Varona, I am the hangover editor for the magazine this quarter, and I love to be on my bullshit at all times so that’s where all my stories will come from.
Jakob: So Justin, what can’t you let go of this week?
Justin: I saw this story on The Cut by New York magazine called why so many women cheat on their husbands. These women are like, satisfied in their relationship but also need to feel the need to cheat on their husbands and they feel like it’s fine. The writer was like, “yeah, I talked to some of my friends and they were all like, yeah, I do it. It’s whatever” and I was just like…
Paola: It’s whatever.
Jakob: A casual cheating session, you know.
Justin: I was kind of shook by it.
Jakob: Is this from the blog? It was like daily or weekly affair diaries.
Justin: Oh, this is not the sex diaries.
Jakob: Oh, it’s not the sex diaries, ok.
Paola: I read the one you sent me once, where she detailed every guy she hooked up with while her husband was away. That was wild.
Jakob: That was wild.
Justin: This is different though because that sex diaries was – they were in an open relationship, so it was ok. This one is like cheating on their husbands and their husbands don’t know about it. Some of these women are just having back and forth texts with guys that are just super flirty.
Jakob: But they’re not doing anything, they’re just texting, they’re not actually going out to meet them.
Jakob: That’s really interesting.
Justin: And they’re like, “Yeah, I'm not getting that from my husband so I'm doing it on the side with some other guy.”
Jakob: On a slightly sadder note, my story that I Can't Let Go of this week is all about natural disasters. I've been following the HurricaneMaria coverage in Puerto Rico a lot – the whole island has no power, they had to evacuate thousands of people because there was a dam that was going to collapse. But I haven’t heard a lot about it in the U.S. Because we are thinking about Trump all the time. Natural disasters that normally would get a lot more coverage just kind of… fall off, you know?
Paola: I also think it depends on what social media bubble you’re in.
Jakob: That’s definitely true.
Paola: Because for example in mine, everybody’s talking about Puerto Rico because I know a lot of people from Puerto Rico.
Justin: Yeah, I think a big deal too is that Trump hasn’t said anything about Puerto Rico.
Jakob: Yeah, that’s also weird.
Justin: There’s this thing where we don’t want to acknowledge that U.S. Territories are part of the us especially when they speak spanish or aren’t all white people. Oh also, I feel like when Paola and I went to see daddy yankee the other day, he was talking about Puerto Rico and taking donations and everything, so I do think it depends on circles.
Paola: And he’s also from Puerto Rico.
Jakob: The whole island has no power, like, how do you even… I can’t remember the exact number, but officials were talking that it’s going to be six months before everyone has power, it’s like how do you live without power for six months?
Paola: Yeah, I can’t. I did it for like a week and it was rough. That’s unimaginable.
Jakob: Basically, I couldn’t go back to the pre-electricity era.
Justin: I camp.
Jakob: I mean I know you camp… I'm not talking about camping, Justin. I mean like daily life.
Justin: I know, I know.
Paola: They don’t have an option.
Justin: I'm trying to sound relatable.
Jakob: It’s not like the entire island of Puerto Rico was like, “oh boy! Let’s go camping for six months.”
Paola: Hashtag relatable, I'm from Kansas City, I've lived through no hurricanes.
Justin: I haven’t even lived through a tornado, y’all.
Jakob: I'm surprised, I would expect… well that’s stereotyping for Kansas.
Paola: Ok, so mine also has to do with natural disasters. I have one particular story in mind from the MiamI New Times that I read recently called why didn’t FPL do more to prepare for Irma?
Jakob: Wait, wait, wait. Sorry, sorry. What is FPL?
Paola: FPL is the company in all of Florida that…
Justin: Is it Florida power and light?
Paola: Yeah, all of our electricity depends on FPL. Over ninety percent of the state was without power, because of FPL’s subpar service, and I feel like they… in this article you read all about it, how they say that they prepared more after Hurricane Andrew, after Hurricane Wilma. All this for Hurricane Irma, and then Irma wasn’t even as strong as those. Their service was awful during this time. At my parent’s business, they had a power line that was above the building…
Jakob: And it like fell on the building?
Paola: Yeah. And it fell down, but they still had power, they had electricity. And there were puddles on the ground, so if anyone went into that, they would get electrocuted. And it was hanging really low, so the trucks that would pass by in my mom’s company would almost hit the line, like just by a bit. They could easily be electrocuted! That was a huge safety hazard, and then the phone lines – they say if it’s an emergency, and they list one of those lines…
Jakob: Like call this number if there’s a downed line?
Paola: Yeah. And my mom called and they did nothing about it for a long time…
Jakob: Like a week?
Paola: Yeah. And then they came and just cut the lines and were like figure out the rest for yourself. It’s been like that through all of Miami, all throughout the rest of the state, and it just shows how awful it is to have one provider monopolize all of the electricity in a state as big as Florida. They’re just really bad people – I wouldn’t want to know them.
Jakob and Paola: Now we can do our personal stories!
Jakob: My story is pretty short. So a few nights ago, I was walking down sheridan road and I passed the SAE headquarters. And there’s three freshmen sitting on the step there who had red solo cups and a bottle of alcohol, and they were just drinking in public and talking about religion and what denominations of christianity they were. And I thought it was so weird, and that’s my personal story.
Justin: I love that story. I feel that it is like…
Jakob: My true Northwestern.
Justin: It is college. And there is like so much meaning there to unpack.
Paola: I think there’s a lot of symbolism, that they’re talking about religion in front of SAE – arguably the most unreligious place on this campus.
Justin: Also that they’re like drinking in front of SAE. But I don’t know, I feel that that needs to be a painting.
Justin: I want to walk into…
Paola: The MOMA!
Justin: I want to walk into the MCA and see this painting of these freshmen on the steps of SAE. All right, my Can't Let Go thing is kind of an ongoing thing, but it also happened today. As you may or may not know, it is freaking hot outside.
Jakob: Oh my god, it is. I came to Northwestern to escape the heat, and yet here I am.
Justin: It is so goddamn hot, and I have been melting, like continually. I look forward to coming back to my room and it being freezing cold in there, right? I will walk up the staircase and be like, it’s hot, it’s been hot, and I'm melting, but I know that I will open the door to my room and feel beautiful. Well, yesterday my roommate spent the whole day in the room, and I guess at some point he turned the AC off. So. I get back and I'm like “it feels a little different in here,” but my roommate’s bed and his stuff are right by where you change the AC, and he was sitting there reading and I wanted to go to bed.
Jakob: He wasn’t even asleep? You could have asked him! I thought he was asleep the whole… wow.
Justin: Ok, one, he was just sitting there reading. Two, we don’t talk anymore. It’s been like a week, but now we just cohabitate and don’t acknowledge each other's existence.
Jakob: You need to have some more communication.
Paola: Justin, I think you only have one option here, and that is to request a roommate change.
Justin: I don’t think that’s an option. I think my roommate is fine. I hope he’s not listening to this.
Paola: so I feel like I need to put a disclaimer first. This story completely sums up who I am.
Justin: I feel like it also sums up who we are, as like a group of friends.
Jakob: I agree, yeah.
Paola: So it all started off when I decided to take Rocks for Jocks and then sign up for Bilingual Reporting, which is ten minutes later from Tech to MFC.
Paola: So I realized that my little legs could not get me there fast enough because I walk very slow. So I went to Target with my mom and we found the last bike that was on sale. It was a cruiser bike. It is this very nice…
Jakob: Quote unquote nice.
Paola: It’s this very pretty pastel blue color, and I loved it, and it looks like something out of a retro movie, so I got it. And I asked the guy at the Target to lower my seat because it was too tall, again, short legs. And he said the bike guy wasn’t there, so I was like ok, fine. I can do it on my own. I can totally figure out how to get pliers and lower the seat, because it doesn’t have a lever. Literally like seven different people tried to lower this bike seat, and no one could lower this damn bike seat, and I still could not reach the pedals – and I had to get to class. So that night, when I couldn’t lower it, we decided to rent a Zipcar, courtesy of Jakob.
Jakob: That’s right.
Paola: And we were going to get my bike in there.
Jakob: It was a task.
Paola: And go to Target.
Jakob: That was also a task.
Justin: Can I chime in real quick? For some reason four of us decided to go on this trip, even though only two of us…
Jakob: You know what? You’ve gotta have adventure in your life.
Justin: No, I was going to say, even though only Jakob and Paola needed to go, Maggie and I decided we needed to be on for the ride.
Jakob: They like climbed on top of the bike. It was a Ford Focus hatchback, so we were shoved in there.
Paola: So we ride over to this Target. I call them beforehand, and I'm like “You guys can lower my bike seat if I show up right now?” And they were like “Yes. The bike guy is here, we will lower your bike seat, ma’am.” And I was like, ok, perfect. We show up there, and lo and behold, bike guy left fifteen minutes before we got there. And they told me, uhh try another Target. So we went to the Target in Niles, meanwhile I'm on the phone with some guy there and he’s like “Yeah, our bike guy is not here today, but our manager Charles is gonna lower this bike seat.”
Jakob: Charles came through!
Paola: And I was like, you know, Charles – I love that man. So we finally get there. Charles takes a million years with three other guys trying to lower this bike seat, and they’re using tools from Target that still have the tags on them. They finally lower the bike seat, and it’s all great, and I'm so happy that Charles saved my life. Like, what a man. And now, the bike saga has officially continued, because now the tires are out of air and I can’t ride it to Tech anymore.
Jakob: So it was completely pointless.
Paola: I'm trying to figure out how to put air in my tires. If you know how to do that and would like to help me, hit me up. It was beautiful. And now I'm back on my bullshit.
Jakob: And on that note, we’re going to wrap things up for this week. So, new episodes of Can't Let Go will come out every Tuesday. For your listening pleasure, you can find this and other NBN podcasts on iTunes and in the Google Play store! Just search Can't Let Go or North by Northwestern, tap on subscribe, and get our thoughts personally delivered to you every week, complete with push notifications. Our theme song is Little Lily Swing, by Tri-Tachyon under a Creative Commons Attribution License. I'm Jakob Lazzaro.
Paola: I'm Paola De Varona
Justin: And I'm Justin Curto.
Jakob: And this is NBN Audio.
Justin: Alternatively, my Can't Let Go is that I had the idea for sparkling iced coffee, and I found out that’s actually a thing.