Friday, August 14, 2009

Erin Inspects My Box

Inspector Erin

Apple Enchiladas

Last Monday I got the inside of my box painted.
This was a harrowing experience, which I've experienced twice now while living in this particular box, and I hope not to go through it again for a very long time.
It needed painting, I freely admit that, and now that it is done I'm glad for it, but while it was happening it was a big pain in the butt.
What prompted this action was an anticipated inspection of the entire building in which my box is located, scheduled for yesterday, Thursday, by some outside agency, who is unclear, that the management of the building was very concerned about. Most likely money, or future funding was involved, which Skid Row Housing Trust did not wish to lose by gaining the displeasure of said outside agency.
The walls inside of my box were, I'm afraid to say, rather dingy, to say the least, and if the upcoming inspection did not prompt the painting of it, I would have requested it anyway.
Okay, so Monday morning arrived, just after Sunday night, which is quite ordinary around this part of the country, and I had some prep to do before the painter arrived.
Now my box contains a small library of books. Approximately 500 of them, hardcover, and paperback, which I thought best to remove from my box to get them out of the way. It all started around six in the morning, and didn't end until seven that night. I took all of my books, in stacks, out into my hallway, near the fire escape window, leaving a pathway incase there actually was a fire that day (unlikely, the building is made of brick, which does not easily burn). I also removed as many lose items as I could. Then I moved the furniture on the east side of the box toward the center (my bed, and work desk), disconnected my computer, stuff like that, and waited for the painter who I thought would be there right at eight.
At eleven thirty the painter arrived, looked inside my box, looked at me disapprovingly, then got to work.
At only one point during the painting process did the painter ask for my assistance, right at the half way point, to move the furniture from the west side of my box to the center (very heavy drawers holding canned goods, and a hutch). My friend, Jose, took pity on my while I was sitting outside in the hallway, and invited me to his box to watch a movie (The Unborn). Right after that movie ended, I saw the painter leaving with all of his painting paraphernalia, so he was done. This was around three o'clock. It took until seven to get everything back inside, and reconnected, and somewhat back to normal.
I slept with the fumes of paint that night, with all three fans turned on to their maximum. But my box looks great.
So good that I invited my lovely case manager, Erin, up to take a look, telling her she should do so as fast as possible before I had it all mucked up again.
This she did yesterday, at around two-fifteen in the afternoon (after the Cooking Club... Spinach Fusilli). I was, and am, very proud of my new box, and wanted to share it with her.
She had not actually been inside it before, although she had seen peeks from the hallway. Yesterday I invited her inside to share all of my treasures.
"Wow, Rick," she said upon entering. "It all looks... kind of yellow..."
"It's white, Erin. White."
I showed her the mountains of books, the computer that I send her copious amounts of Email from, the stores of food I maintain on site (enough to feed a community of 30 for two months), my microwave oven, my swamp cooler, the wading pool and fireplace, etc. She was struck dumb with admiration by my pictures of Marge Simpson, Jolene Blalock, and my friend Odalys Garcia.
I happened to have the picture of the benevolent pika as the background picture on my computer at the time.
"The pika!" Erin exclaimed. "I love him!"
So do I.
I also showed her how at that very moment my computer was searching for radio signals of an extraterrestrial origen with the Seti At Home feature. She was dully impressed.
She checked out some of the many DVDs I happen to own, then told me she approved of my box.
"I like your box, Rick!"
"Why thank you, Erin."
Then she left.
Of course, the inspectors did not choose my box to inspect (they got Jose though), and I'm happy to report that the building overall passed inspection, taking the worry load off of my lovely resident manager, Tianna.
Now as an extra post bonus, Erin's recipe for apple enchiladas (which she stole from Re Donna):
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Ready in: 15 + 20= almost 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Erin says: "Apples rolled into tortilla. VERY delicious, easy and fast to make. Every time I take this dish to friends they say its great, and wonder at all the time and work I must have put into it, when its actually the easiest dish I know how to make. Substitute apples with peaches or cherries if desired."
Rick says: "These were absolutely the best apple enchiladas I've ever had!"
Erin says: "How many times have you had apple enchiladas, Rick?"
Rick says: "Ah, er, I can't quite remember, Erin, but these were absolutely the very best! Why don't you tell us how to make these tasty apple enchiladas, Erin."
Erin says: "Okay, Rick!"
1 (21 once) can apple pie filling 1/2 cup white pimple causing sugar
6 (8 inch) flour tortillas 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 cup water
1/3 cup margarine
That's it!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Spoon fruit evenly onto all tortillas, sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll up tortillas and place seam side down on lightly greased 8x8 baking pan.
Bring margarine, sugars, and water to boil in a medium sauce pan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
Pour sauce evenly over tortillas; sprinkle with extra cinnamon on top if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Makes 6 large tortillas; may be cut in half to serve 12.
Rick Says: "Serve with some nice ice cream if desired."
Erin says: "Enjoy!"

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