Monday, March 22, 2010


In my little community, there's a story in this morning's paper that talks about removing limits to the sizes of basements.

We have some old neighborhoods where the average house size is less than 1,000 square feet (not exaggerating).  These neighborhoods have become quite desirable (over $500k) and, of course, some people with more money than brains have moved into town and either scraped or "remodeled" these houses and put up 15,000 square foot (again, not exaggerating) manor houses.  Needless to say, the neighborhoods are in arms about this and have finally, in the past 3 years, gotten control to where these sorts of upgrades are limited.

Now, however, we are looking at basements.

I've always loved looking for loopholes - reasons why the rules that should rightly apply to you and everyone else should not apply to me.

As my wife (also an admitted drunk) was reading parts of the story to me, she seemed disappointed when I suggested that they would probably limit the basement size to the dimensions of the lot.  Our minds were "off to the races!!!"  Maybe you could just put in multiple levels of basements?  You could preserve the 1,000 square foot footprint of the house and have a 3+ level, 14,000 square foot basement underneath it.  Why not?

The idea that the same rules that apply to everyone else should apply to me has been a hard-fought concept.  The posted speed limit seemed to be a good place to start.

Granted, getting 2 speeding tickets last year helped me to my surrender.  The $500/month surcharge on my car insurance helps keep me surrendered.

But, the spiritual principle of humility has not come easy for me.  A dear spiritual guide and friend of mine who died 5 years ago last Sunday was fond of the saying: "I'm not a human being trying to attain a spiritual state.  I am a spiritual being trying to learn to live in a human state."

For today, without looking for loopholes....


Syd said...

I can't think of any loopholes that I'm thinking about today. My mind has been on teak decks for some reason!

Anonymous said...

When the original Mayor Daley still ruled Chicago, he lived in what looked like a modest bungalow in a working class neighborhood. Your description of the possible extent of the multi-leveled basements in your town was dead on to what he had done to that house on the inside! Have a good one!!

Julianne said...

It's amazing how my brain immediately begins the search for potential loop-holes for me in ANY given situation. I may be sober, but certain defects of character require constant work.

Bobby said...

Thank you for admitting that you look for the loopholes. I think everyone does this to a degree. The fact that you are aware this attitude may cause a few problems here and there is great. I love the saying at the end of your blog. A spiritual being trying to live in a human state pretty much says it all. Thanks again and good luck with the loopholes.

Mary Christine said...

I can visualize you two sitting around planning ever descending levels of basements... wouldn't it be wonderful?

$500 a month? Really?

And has it been 5 years? I heard of a movie tonight called "the human experience" and thought of him.