In Something is Wrong, I described a rather creepy incident where a stranger was looking for one of my neighbors. As it turns out, my guess that the stranger had been here before turned out to be correct. My upstairs neighbor is involved in a civil suit and his lawyer has advised him to not accept any papers from process servers -- which is what the stranger is. I'm not fond of my upstairs neighbor and I'd almost be tempted to let the process server in, but the stranger lied to me about meeting me and I'd rather not have problems with my neighbors.
In other news, I just edited the above: s/creep/creepy/. That bugs me. I used to be spot on in my spelling and grammar (well, at least significantly better than I am now). However, in the past year or three, I've noticed a decline in my ability to write. I misspell more words than I used to and, no matter how many times I look them up, I can never remember how to spell "embarrass", "occasional" or "algorithm". I don't know what's going on. Is it the influence of the casual nature of email or writing online? Is it something more insidious?
Frankly, I'm kind of a rags to middle-class story. I graduated high school in 1985 and for the next thirteen years worked a series of retail or food service jobs and only managed to get into programming in 1998 (despite the fact that I had started programming back in 1983). During the decade of hell when I couldn't figure out how to get my life together, I read voraciously (I still remember the 10-dollar words, oddly enough), but I had no need to write much. I realized at one point that I had forgotten how to write in cursive characters and had to relearn it -- and yet to this day I can still write in a crude form of Tengwar, the alphabet of Tolkein's elves. Go figure.
So, that leads me back to my inability to spell and my omitting words all over the place when I write. I wonder if my staring at the screen all day long and primarily writing code has somehow "infected" my brain. I haven't noticed a decline in any other faculties (not that they could decline much