cyle talley

Bicycles and Dogs and the End of School and How Buying Physical Copies of Albums Proves That I’m Already An Old Man

I was baptized as a teenager. This is only relevant to tell you that my younger sister and I were able to choose our own godparents. She chose a favorite teacher of hers to be her godfather and he, being the outdoorsy, Durango-y sort of guy he is, took us both out a lot- rafting, hiking, etc. As an adult, I can more fully appreciate what it was he did for two kids he had no blood relation to whatsoever and my respect for him is boundless. I’ll also never forget what he said to me on one of these rafting trips.

“You know what’s best about being a teacher, Cyle?” he said, commandeering his pickup truck.

I hadn’t the foggiest clue.

“The old J-J-A,” he said, stretching his arms out wide for effect.

It took a minute for his meaning to dawn on me.

“June, July and August?” I said, confused.

“Exactly,” he adjusted his sunglasses.

Now that I have some (and I do mean some) experience in the matter, I feel as though I can say something on the subject. Here is what I have to say: it’s not the best part of being a teacher- but it’s really, really good.

The end of the school year has now come and gone and, after two weeks of ceaseless planning and very, very late nights spent in my office working on graduation ceremonies, grading, last-day-of-school events and planning for next year, I am done and nearly back to a regular sleep schedule.

Thank G-d.

I am feeling very pleased with how my J-J-A has begun and am writing this morning to state a few goals and make a few assertions. If that’s not your thing, I happen to know that there are some lovely articles on the New Yorker this morning. I know, because I read them.

It’s subtle bragging, but it’s still bragging.

Because I got up early (well, 7am) and fed the dogs and made coffee and then put them and myself in the car and hiked some four-odd miles to Gudy’s Rest on the Colorado Trail. It was lovely. I ran a few errands in town (including affording myself the luxury of perusing the local record store’s wares and even purchasing a few- more on that later) and returned to two comatose dogs, lying in the middle of the floor. It looked so nice that I joined them.

Yes, on the floor. A better nap has heretofore not been had.

Now, of course, I am writing. This, roughly, is where the goals begin. First, let me thank you for taking the time to read the things I post here. Your comments, both published and private, are much appreciated indeed. My goal this summer is to follow my own advice (which has been distilled from the advice of so many, much better, writers before me): Write daily. So, while I will not promise to write long form pieces here (as I have several ideas in the works that might not be best served online), I intend to put a bit here each day. Be sure to check in when you’re able. I promise to be as pithy as possible, funny occasionally and didactic as infrequently as possible.

I also promise not to be one of those bloggers who only ever talks about themselves. Or, at least, to try very diligently not to be.


Here is something funny: Recently, a student (who appreciates music very much and who, moreover, is a very good listener of music) found a copy of the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs record on my desk. It is possibly the ugliest/worst album artwork of all time. As follows is our conversation.

Student: “Whoa, what?! You bought an actual copy of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs album? (holds back laughter) That’s kind of cute!”

Me: “Wha-?!”

Student: “No, I just mean, you know, I don’t really know anyone who buys actual copies of music anymore. Also, this is really ugly.”

Me: “Right?!”


Final thoughts for today:
The Colorado Trail is good. Really good.
Dogs, likewise, are good. Really good.
Riding a bicycle is a pleasure that I somehow always forget about.
It astounds me that all I really wanted to say was that I really, really like the new Vampire Weekend album and I somehow managed to ramble for nearly one thousand words. Still, the new Vampire Weekend record is really, really good.

So, there’s that.


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