This year may not have been “The Year I Stopped Worrying And Shared Less,” but by the end of it I was ready to bail on almost every social app in existence. Before Instagram became a completely useless morass of ads and video and video ads, I tried to do a monthly image diary to curtail the ridiculous oversharing I’d done in the 2011-2021 decade. It mostly worked, and all 11 image diaries are (more or less) reproduced below ahead of their inevitable deletion on 12/31/22 (the December one will be the full year, which I’ll add to the post linked above). So, in order:

Started 2022 off with the “thousand cuts” method in January: a flat bike tire (with overdue repairs), a crashy computer (too outdated for current software), and mostly-donated music gear (too old to sell). And those were the *least* of the stresses endured at Chéz DuBois this month. I kept my design job search alive with two more applications that collected crickets and landed a few freelance projects (thank you friends!). Placed an old bass guitar I never really connected with on consignment, but began writing songs on the new mandocello. Replaced my 2014 laptop with a shiny new one. Continued escaping to made-up places every week as a world-builder and as player and game master with my D&D group. Took lotsa neighborhood walks until I got my bike back (with new gear cassette/crank set), and immediately suffered (but fixed) a second flat tire. Ultimately only notched 93.75 miles for the month. Two tired to say anything else other than “the up arrow starts in February.” ↗️

February 2022: Tried to take in as much bright flora and blue sky as possible this month. Logged 163.79 miles on the bike, from Rincon to Hueneme. Might even be joined by a new e-biker on future rides. We also took in the Huntington Museum’s “Mapping Fiction” exhibition and glorious gardens. Racked up some freelance design work and belatedly became a published map artist—a 2021 Keirtography map appears in a new sci-fi novel. Re-forged some fictional heroes and finished a fantastical poster map of the made-up places they roam.

I don’t have a lot to show you for March 2022, but I can tell you plenty. I know they say “show, don’t tell” but my English BA says “whatever” to that, so: This month I completed four Keirtography maps for a client’s self-published memoir, I made tons of progress on my fantasy map gazetteer, I interviewed for a local university design job (about which I’m still kinda ambivalent), I guested on a virtual panel about geospatial side-hustles with people from Europe and Africa, and I biked 16 rides for a record 205.96 miles (some of that with my favorite e-biker). More in April, so stay tuned.

In April 2022 my design workload ebbed away again; I waded through more rejections from “real jobs” (that I wasn’t sure I really wanted anyway) and tactless ghostings from prospective freelance clients. I worried about it too much (because that’s just how I roll), then I got over it (for now), and so fell back on the flexibility that remote freelance creative work (and house-spousery) allows. This month that meant more beaches, more baseball (from little league in Santa Paula to big league in San Diego), more biking (15 rides for 173.22 miles), more maps, and (a little) more music. Oh, and also fyi apparently April is axolotl adoption month, so mark your calendars for 2023.

I hope you all are still good with maps, bikes, and baseball from this account—because that’s basically all I’ve got for May 2022, day and night. I biked 15 rides for 170.44 miles, about half of that on fat new all-terrain tires after an off-road blowout forced me to walk 6 miles home (though that proved fruitful for later found-texture maps). Cheered on the little-league Santa Paula White Sox, even when they lost, with a score-keeping dynamic duo of middle school science teachers. Landed some map work (still in progress) about Florida’s National Parks. I even worked on those maps (plus some other fictional ones) remotely at coffee shops, and went on dates to breweries, as if it were 2019 or something.

Images from a jam-packed June 2022, road-tripping up and down the California coast: some baseball (one game each for CCL’s Conejo Oaks and MLB’s San Diego Padres), some biking (a measly 6 rides for 103.65 miles in Ventura & Oceanside), a breezy hike in Half Moon Bay, a family jam session in Santa Cruz, and a beer summit with two of my fellow D&D nerds in San Clemente. Also notable: completing my Florida National Parks maps and seeing my 2021 sci-fi Boston map show up in the sequel to its original book.

Mostly took July 2022 off from going everywhere and doing everything, but we still celebrated an anniversary, saw family in Anaheim, caught some more collegiate-level baseball, and capped off the month with our first concert of the year (Wild Hearts triple bill at the LA Greek). I biked 13 rides for a respectable 160.28 miles. My freelance map work ebbed again but I got great advice for going next-level, and did some good creative hobby-work in the meantime.

This monthly “dear diary” stuff is feeling a little played out, but I am nothing if not committed to the bit, at least for this year, so here’s August 2022. I leisurely biked 14 rides for 190.14 miles. I scored an elusive thrift store pea coat, though without the legendary corduroy pockets. I struck out with sticker-shocked potential clients and revamped my Keirtography portfolio site yet again to compensate. I spent hours upon hours doing fantasy-gazetteer map work, ideally for completion later this fall.

Lotta scenery and hobby-work for September 2022. For better and worse I lived inside my own head again and pedaled it off outside when things felt too cranially crowded. Biked 12 rides for 156.53 miles. Saw some fall-ball little league. Went on some nice dinner dates. Made massive progress on my fantasy atlas/gazetteer. Fired up the “blogging for bonafides” engine after a few years off, for @keirtography. I even thought of something totally self-centered but constructive and even interesting to use this demon app for next year. Maybe. We’ll see.

A busy October 2022. I biked 12 rides for 158.62 miles, including another jaunt on Oceanside’s San Luis Rey River trail. Em and I saw the War On Drugs for the 6th time, at a new venue for us, SDSU. Back at home, we cheered on local little leaguers the Santa Paula Prospects. I lost my mind over the 89-win San Diego Padres during their improbably amazing yet ultimately unsuccessful playoff run. I set a land-speed record for publication layout on behalf of nonprofit org Good Jobs First. I self-published the digital version of my “Nua Gazetteer” fantasy map atlas.

You’ve heard of Elf on a Shelf, but have you heard of…Keir on a Pier? Oh boy. I’m so sorry. Anyway, here’s the final monthly image diary of 2022, for November (12/31 will do the whole year). We’ve got a middle-aged man being pretentious in public, 11 chilly bike rides at the beach (for 135.40 miles total), a happy Cure fan (at last, Wish on vinyl), a passel of Prospects in Ojai, an e-biker scouting a swim meet, a late wilter going yellow right on schedule, and an archive dive for old map notes and even older alt-weekly tearsheets. Over and out.