Jakob Lazzaro, Justin Curto and Sam Maude Can't Let Go of volcanoes, new jeans, Elon Musk + Grimes, beards, The Met Gala and bowling. Stories featured in this episode hail from The Washington Post, The New York Post and Vogue. Transcript below.

[Music: Little Lily Swing]

Jakob Lazzaro: Hello, welcome back to Can't Let Go, the NBN podcast where we discuss the news stories and the personal stories from the past week or two that we can just not get out of our heads. I'm your host, Jakob Lazzaro, and I want to welcome you to the third episode of this beautiful spring quarter. The weather’s finally nice outside, which is great. This week, I have a returning guest – been here many times before – NBN Editor-in-Chief Justin Curto. Justin, say hi.

Justin Curto: Hi.

Jakob: That’s how he says hi every time he’s on, fun fact. And I also have a new guest, new to the show. Contributing writer at NBN, fellow Medill journalism sophomore at Northwestern: Sam Maude! You want to introduce yourself?

Sam Maude: Yeah, hi.

Justin: Fun fact, audience. Sam and I are dating. You might remember from the last episode I was on here that I was on Tinder, but that was just a complicated time. But we're back, better than ever. Back by popular demand.

Sam: I’m stressed.

Jakob: All right, well on that note, let's jump in to the news stories for this week. Justin, do you want to go first?

Justin: I get to go first? OK. My news story for this week... So I am scrolling through Twitter, right? Just like normal. And I see a joke...

Jakob: This is you every time you're the show.

Justin: So I’m scrolling through Twitter and I see a joke that someone made about... It said something like next thing we know, Sky Ferreira is going to be dating Jeff Bezos, and I’m like what the fuck is going on? And then I see it. I see that Grimes, our alt-indie pop D.I.Y. superstar, is dating Elon Musk. And I’m just like, what the fuck. I look into it more, and apparently she had made a joke about artificial intelligence three years ago online, and he was gonna make that joke but then he found she made that joke and he was like, oh shit. We're in love. And they started talking. And now Grimes is no longer an anti-imperialist according to her Twitter bio, and I think that's all I need to say. They look really awkward together.

Sam: See, I don't know Grimes super well. So I feel like I’m kind of not caring as much as the Twitterverse is, if that makes sense? I’m just like, OK.

Justin: Grimes is... I don't know. I saw Grimes in concert once, and she was cool, but I liked her before that. I got into her music because this boy I had a crush on really liked Grimes, so I wanted to listen to her for him. But like, she's really cool and that is like the biggest definition of selling out.

Jakob: On the subject of Elon Musk, have you ever heard the quote from his ex-wife on their wedding night, what he said to her?

Justin: No.

Jakob: I found it. I pulled it up. So they were dancing at their wedding reception, he like leans in and goes "I am the alpha in this relationship."

Justin: [Shocked gasp]

Jakob: But yeah. Elon Musk. He's like the ultimate definition of the tech bro.

Justin: Jakob, would you like to go next?

Jakob: Why yes, Justin. I would. In fact, I have my news story pulled up already on my laptop. So, Hawaii. U.S. state out in the Pacific, has a few volcanoes. But a few days ago, one of them on the big island of Hawaii, Kilauea, erupted. And it just started oozing lava, shooting rocks, you know. Volcano things. Everywhere. And where it erupted was these fissures in this neighborhood south of Hilo, Hawaii called Leilani Estates.

Justin: I thought you were saying fishers, like people who fish.

Jakob: That... What... No.

Sam: What are you referring to?

Justin: Fissures. Like in the ground.

Sam: Ohhhh. I was wondering like...

Justin: Hook, line and sinker.

Sam: Yep!

Jakob: No one has been killed because they were able to see it was coming and evacuate the neighborhood but some people lost their homes. But there was this really interesting Washington Post article about what it's like to basically knowingly buy a house that's right next to – for one thing – but also kind of on top of a volcano. And yeah. And a lot of people there actually don't have home insurance as their homes were uninsurable, but there were a bunch of people interviewed in this Washington Post that were just like, “yeah, I just really love it here. It's beautiful. I’m gonna come back and rebuild, because if the lava destroys my house it's fine. It's just the way things were meant to be, but I’m just gonna come back.”

Sam: But I’m also taken aback by the fact that people can just be like “I’m gonna rebuild my house”. Like who has that kind of money? And granted, to live on Hawaii you have to have a lot of money.

Justin: Not necessarily.

Jakob: Well interestingly, this neighborhood, this area of the big island is one of the cheapest areas to live on in Hawaii, because it's on the side of the island that's more rainy and doesn't have beaches right there. So the land is cheaper. So it tends to be more... Generally, the people of that area in the neighborhood tend to be more working class, the article says.

Justin: There is poverty in Hawaii.

Jakob: Oh yeah. Hawaii actually has a big homeless problem, I think, because a lot of people buy one way tickets to move there and then they run out of money and can't afford to go back to the mainland.

Sam: I had no idea. That's interesting.

Justin: Like, indigenous Hawaiians too, and shit like that.

Jakob: Alright, Sam. What's your news story?

Sam: So my story is the Met Gala happening, which I believe happened Sunday night? So the Met Gala is when an exhibit comes to the Met about fashion and it's specifically hosted by Anna Wintour, who's the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue.

Jakob: OK, OK.

Sam: And she puts on this giant gala where celebrities come. This year hosting the gala was Donatella Versace, Amal Clooney and Rihanna. And there's always a theme to the Met Gala, and this year the theme was about Catholicism and specifically called heavenly bodies in the Catholic imagination. And as a religious studies and journalism major, it was really right up my alley and I was fawning over the outfits. But there have also been a lot of commentary on if it's cultural appropriation or not, which I strongly believe it is not because Catholics are normally in a position of power in the world. And also, a lot of fashion is normally based on Catholicism, and if you look at fashion history, a lot of designers have been influenced by the Catholic church.

Justin: And also the church signed off on it. Like, they approved.

Sam: Yeah. The church donated, or like, lent items to the exhibit. But yeah. In my opinion, Rihanna had the best look, Blake Lively was a close second, but it was a huge event.

Justin: This is the first time I’m hearing about... Because I had asked you the other day what the Met Gala was for, and you couldn't really answer other then it was a party. And I didn't know that it was for an exhibit.

Sam: Oh, I thought you meant... I also know they raise money to go to some type of charity or something along those lines – I am not exactly sure what that is. But yes, it's an actual, physical exhibit.

Jakob: So regular people can just walk in there?

Sam: I’m not sure if regular people can, because I’ve looked and tried to, like... I don't know exactly, but I know there's an exhibit and it was photographed in the last issue of Vogue. and specifically, designers design outfits in to go into this specifically.

Jakob: Oh, OK.

Sam: It has designs from every major designer you could think of.

Justin: So you could probably go to the exhibit, just not on the night of the ball.

Sam: I would think so. I don't know exactly how it works.

[Music: Little Lily Swing]

Justin: Now it's time for our personal stories, and I am going to start again. So, a little bit ago, I didn't shave for a few days. Got kind of lazy. And then people were like, “Justin. Are you growing out a beard?" And I’m like, “I don't think so.” But then they were talking to me about it and were like 'Your stubble looks really good. You should keep it.' And I was like 'OK. This is interesting.' So I go online and I learn that if I want to keep my stubble, I have to grow it way longer first and then trim it down to decide what length I want it. So I was like, “OK. I’ll try this.” And now I kind of have a beard. It's like really short, or I think it's short – I shave it to three millimeters. But it exists now, and people have told me – this is the big part – is that people are telling me I look more grown up, I look so hot. Everyone's noticing it and saying good things about it, so it's been a nice ego boost for me.

Sam: So, my friend Sherlina actually texted me about Justin when she saw him and was like "Sammy. Justin's beard. He's so hot."

Justin: Sherlina's literally coming for me because she's the only other one who calls you Sammy.

Sam: That's true.

Justin: Yeah.

Sam: But um, Justin's mine. To everyone out there, I’d like to make that known. No, I’m kidding.

Justin: Are you?

Sam: No.


Sam: No, but I love the beard. I think it's hot.

Jakob: So my personal story is also fashion-related. So late last week, I had a personal tragedy when I realized that I had a hole in my favorite jeans. It was not super visible – I’m trying to think of the best way to describe it. It was kind of in the crotch area, but you couldn't see it unless you were standing directly beneath me, but it was slowly getting bigger because it was in the point where it was like between the seams. So it was just going to eventually get really, really big and just ruin the jeans.

Justin: You didn't think it was going to get bigger at first because you were asking us "Is this gonna be a problem?" we had to all be like "Jakob, as you keep running those through the dryer it's gonna like..."

Jakob: See, this is because I was in denial because they were my favorite pair of jeans and I didn't want to get rid of them. It's alright, because after some advice, intervention, whatever from Justin, Paola and Maggie were also there...

Justin: Sam helped out too later on.

Jakob: Sam did, also. He was there. Over these jeans, I decided I should suck it up and go spend some money on new jeans. And then, on Saturday that weekend it was really nice out. 80 degrees. Sunny. Everyone was outside. So I’m like, you know what? I’m gonna bike into Chicago. So I did, I biked from Evanston all the way to like, The Loop. And I went into American Eagle on the recommendation of these fine people, they said that's the place to go get some relatively inexpensive jeans. I went in there. I got a pair of jeans. They have become my new favorite jeans, and I really like them.

Sam: What style are they? I’m curious.

Jakob: These are skinny, and they're just blue.

Sam: And the good thing about American Eagle's skinny jeans too, is – wow this is turning into an advertisement for them.

Jakob: We didn’t get paid, I promise. I’m just really happy with my new jeans. If we got paid, that would have been really sweet. Contact me later!

Sam: No, but the good part about American Eagle jeans is that all my jeans are from American Eagle because they're stretchy.

Justin: Same.

Jakob: Yeah, that what I did. I got the flex or whatever they're called.

Sam: So if you're like dancing the night away and you want to drop it, you can.

Jakob: Anyway, Sam. What happened to you personally this week that you cannot let go of?

Sam: Little known fact about Sam is that when I was younger, I was on a bowling league.

Jakob: Wild.

Sam: And my bowling team won the tournament at our bowling alley. So I know how to bowl. So Justin and I's anniversary, like year-long anniversary was April 30, which was on a Monday. And we decided to go out and do something that we'd never done before, so we decided to go bowling.

Jakob: Wild.

Sam: Wild, right? And I annihilated him.

Justin: It's true.

Jakob: What was the score?

Justin: I don’t even know.

Sam: Well, it depends on the game. The third game, it was like 140ish, 135 to I want to say 70?

Justin: I want to say 60.

Sam: Justin and I are a fairly competitive couple, I will say.

Justin: I think you're competitive.

Sam: I mean, I wasn't gonna say. Well I... Yeah. And we've established – we know this about one another. So it was a good moment for me, a good time.

Jakob: So going in you were like, "let's go bowling."

Sam: No, no.

Justin: You're really making this sound like we did our anniversary just for you.

Sam: No! No! I went into this anniversary and you were like let's do something we haven't done and I hadn't gone bowling in a while, because my friends and I used to go bowling every Thursday night during high school. So yes, it was like a form of nostalgia for me, but it was something we hadn't done and Justin doesn't really know this side of me. Like this is the good bowling side. So it was, I feel, like a good bonding experience for us. And we had a kickass dinner beforehand.

[Music: Little Lily Swing]

Jakob: So that’s going to wrap things up for this week. This and all other NBN podcasts can be found on iTunes and the Google Play store. And as always, as I say every week, please go subscribe and you’ll get a notification whenever there is a new episode, which is great. Theme for the show is “Little Lily Swing” by Tri-Tachyon which we use under a Creative Commons Attribution License. I'm your host, Jakob Lazzaro.

Justin: I'm Justin Curto.

Sam: I'm Sam Maude.

Jakob: And this is NBN Audio.

[Music: Little Lily Swing]

Justin: Is now when we kiss in front of the mic? No.


Justin: It’s so awkward now.