It's not about the house.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Lightbulb Moment

I bought Boston Magazine this week - another magazine I don't generally read, because, well, let's just say I'm so gosh-darned busy. But "Big Papi On Big Papi" was the cover story, so how could I pass it up?

Turns out he has a sister named Albania - which obviously means we were meant for each other - but there's only so many times you can read a single article so eventually I got around to all the other stuff. And lookit what I found:

"P. 114 Living Large: Our Spring Home Design special celebrates the ingenuity and imagination that go into making a big - and we mean big - space feel like home."

Well golly. When they say "big" here, I assume they aren't talking about Papi. So let's see what page 114 has to say…

"Of course, in zoning-crazy Massachusetts, simply getting the megamansion of your dreams built is no easy feat…"

Yes, I hate that. Crazy zoning. Massachusetts should just let them build what they want, where they want. They have all this money, don't they? What else is anybody going to do with all that space? Not actually live in it - that's crazy talk!

To be honest, I didn't even read the article. I'm just looking at the pictures and reading the captions and the pull-quotes. Here are some highlights:

"Custom-designed boot closet [the things you put your feet in, not a place to hurl]… Custom-made king-size bed of Macassar ebony and bird's-eye maple [are you absolutely sure those aren't actual bird's eyes?] … So they turned a church into their personal sanctuary [Methodist, of course] … 20-foot-tall wine racks [they're empty] …former pulpit turned into an entertaining nook [homily, homely: tomato, tomahto] … a 19th-century Caucasian tapestry wall hanging [well of course it's Caucasian] … the room feels like an elevator shaft to her [oh yes, it's just so cramped] …"

Oooh, but here's a whole other related article entitled "The House That Ate Weston" (which, for those of you from elsewhere, is the richest town in Massachusetts, with an average property value of a million bucks or so). I've gotta actually read this thing. Hold on…

Okay, so to begin with: "An old rule of thumb says you shouldn't spend more than three times your annual income on a house [ahem]. Pallota's mansion will eat up just 10 percent of his: barring a market crash [yes, let's pray for him] he should be able to pay off his entire property in less than six weeks."

Nope, not reading the article. I'll boot-closet. But there's a sidebar: "After sizing up Jim Pallotta's jaw-dropping spread, we figured out how much dough he's putting into it." Oh goody, let's dish!

Well, to be honest, things like $100,000 home-theater setups and $80,000 regulation basketball courts don't mean anything to me. Neither do landscaping bills for 10½-acre lawns. I just have no standard of comparison. But this one hit home:

"According to lighting designer ["lighting designer"?] Glenn Johnson's plan…Pallotta can expect to spend another $400 to $500 on 2,760 watts' worth of LIGHT BULBS [emphasis mine] for the EXTERIOR[mine, again]. Of course, he'll need several hundred more inside."

Of course. But how many Methodists will it take to change one?

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