9:28 p.m.

I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to be a journalist.

I mean, I haven’t been a traditional journalist for five years. But my job is pretty much a journalist job. I seek out stories, write them, take pictures and throw in the occasional video. These days it feels more like a traditional journalist’s job than usual. But I’m not complaining.

In the past week, I sought out the same location of a historic photo so I could take a “Today” shot, stood in a river taking pictures of biologists taking fish egg samples from gravel, watched 160,000 juvenile fish be transferred from one hatchery to another, took pictures of biologists count thousands of slippery shiny silvery perch, counted fish from a smolt trap, and learned how SONAR is being used to count fish.

Huh. There’s a lot of fish counting in Indian Country.

The rest of the week will be way more diverse – finding otters and river dippers, testing the dissolved oxygen levels of a major creek and planting kelp in Puget Sound.

For feeling extremely sedentary this winter (which, unfortunately has been grayer than usual and has pushed most of the Puget Sound population to the edge of insanity, more so than the annual Spring Depression. Even the LOCALs have agreed it’s been an extremely hard winter), the busyness of recent weeks has been refreshing. It’s kept me on my toes, kept my brain fresh. It’s even helped me focus getting back to the gym on a regular basis, oddly enough. It goes back to high school, I think – when I’m at my busiest, I’m at my best. When my mind is engaged on a regular basis, good things happen.

what else (hey, the prompt on the “full-toggle” mode says “just write.” I like that).

The first 3 months of 2011 pretty much sucked. For some reason, there just didn’t seem to be anything to look forward to. I knew why I was feeling that way but it was hard to address. Then vacation came and went. While that vacation wasn’t deserving, I am absolutely convinced it was required. Ever since I got back, I have been the most productive, the most happy, the most energized I’ve been in a very very very long time. It’s weird because I haven’t really done anything different. Maybe coming out of hibernation helped too. The sun has been coming out more. I can still see light in the sky from my dining room table right now.

The shoulder/rib issue is getting better though. The doctor told me – “at your age, it takes 18 months for things to fully recover. In six months, if it’s still bothering you, come back.” In six months it will be 18 months and I’m feeling way better than I did a year ago when all this nonesense started. But what got me was, “At your age…”! What, am I 80, in need of a hip replacement?!

One last note – I was so sad to hear that The Best Ambiance on KEXP was going away, but tonight, its replacement is focusing on Latin music. Totally digging it. Adds a nice kick to Monday evenings.

BAM. 9:43 p.m.