So... for the two people out there who read this, my apologies for not writing more often this month. I've been down with a somewhat worrisome case of poison ivy. At the worst point, my right arm was swollen to such an extent that it was very difficult to bend my elbow, twist my wrist, or even clench my hand. My left arm was swollen less than my right, but it, too, looked more like a pulverized piece of meat (animated through some fell magicks) than my arm. In addition, the upper right-hand side of my face was swollen so much that I could barely open my eye.
Luckily, it didn't really itch. Luckily, too, my girlfriend is very patient and caring, and helped me slather Cortizone on the swelling. In the end, 2+ weeks after my initial contact with that vile plant (which, with poison sumac and poison oak, should be eradicated from the face of the earth), I'm now at a point where my arms merely appear that I have a minor sun burn, and my face is back to its normal mug-like self.
In other news, the temperature has finally cooled off, and sleeping with the windows open, listening to cicadas, crickets, and other insect sounds at night is a welcome relief to the secluded quiet (broken up by intermittent blasts of cold air) that is forced upon you when you choose to use central A/C.