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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » A funny thing happened on the way to 2005. (Landmark)

   
Author Topic: A funny thing happened on the way to 2005. (Landmark)
KarlEd
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Well, it has taken me nearly 2 years to write my 3rd thousand posts at Hatrack. I was registered here for nearly 3 1/2 years when I wrote my first landmark post at 2000 posts, so if anything, I've slowed down a little. I still read far more than I post. Anyway, for my first landmark post I wrote a condensed bio and told about my experiences growing away from a belief in God, among other things. If you missed it (and care) you can still read that here. So I thought I'd take this opportunity to catch the interested among you up on the last two years, and see what happens from there.

I wrote my last landmark on May 13th 2003. At the time I wouldn't have guessed that within a month of that post I'd be ending a 9-year relationship with Douglas. In retrospect, I should have known it was over, and on some levels I'm sure I did know, but at the time I wasn't ready to admit failure. I wasn't ready to admit it to myself, and I certainly didn't want to admit it to anyone else. Long ago, when Douglas and I were still dating, there was a time when I thought we were going to break up. I called my mother because I was hurting and needed a shoulder to cry on. My mom's reply at that time was "Well, those kinds of relationships aren't meant to last." I think she's grown wiser since then, but comments like those make it hard for some of us to reach out to others in times of emotional need. It's hard to trust someone when you think they might secretly be rooting for you to fail.

There's an odd kind of societal pressure some gay men feel. For me, it was as if I had a responsibility to the gay community to make it work if only to show "them" that gay men can form lasting relationships as well as straight men can. Maybe my failure has served to bolster the opinion of those who think I was "only playing house" to begin with. So be it. Life is hard enough without living it to appease one's critics.

So one relationship ended and another one began. I met Chris surprisingly quickly and found out what all the love songs were talking about. We hit it off immediately and have only grown closer since. I don't think I knew what love really was until I met him. He is kind and sweet and cute. He is gentle. He's a kid at heart. I think about him when I'm at work and love it when he interrupts my day with a phone call. I can't wait to get home to him in the evening. He makes me want to be a better me.

Chris and I dated for several months, then we moved into an apartment together last February. 6 months later, we found our dream house and moved again. We've been in Hanover, PA for about 6 months now and haven't regretted a minute of it. The house is hard work, but fun. The woman who sold it to us was 86 years old and had lived in the house for 42 of them. She ran a beauty parlor on the first floor and lived on the second. Luckily she didn't section off the two parts of the house, though she did put the kitchen in a second floor bedroom. We've almost finished putting a new one back on the first floor.

After we had put a contract on the house, but before we settled, the house next door came on the market. (You can just see part of it in the photo above.) It was older than the house we were buying, and was divided into two apartments (vacant at the time). As luck would have it, I was able to get a contract on it, too, pending the sale of my rental property in Baltimore. Ironically, I sold my Baltimore property to Douglas and was able to buy the Hanover one. Again, as luck would have it, in December my Mom decided she needed a change. I invited her to come up to Hanover. Now she and my aunt (her sister) are living in my rental. It's really nice to have her close.

At first I was a little reticent about living as a gay couple in a small PA town. My pioneer spirit won out, though, and we've had a great experience. Most people we've met have been very friendly. We even met another gay couple in town. We do get odd looks from time to time, and the occasional glare, but for the most part, Hanover seems to be accepting of my particular kind of diversity.

Right now the biggest challenge in my life is getting the houses in order. As I said above, we just put in a new kitchen in our house. I also had to buy all new appliances for the kitchen in my Mom's house. Both houses need a quite a bit of painting inside. Both bathrooms in my house are pretty gross and need pretty much complete overhauls. I plan to turn the upstairs former-kitchen into a nice master bath, eventually, but money is getting tight. We lost the old tree in the back yard, and I took out all the bushes in the front and side yards. I have to have the brick pillars re-built, and part of the porch roof, too. There's a two-story deck/porch on the back of the house, and it needs to be replaced as well. Eventually I want to build a low brick wall to retain the front and side yards. Who knows when this will all get done. Money is the biggest obstacle at the moment, but then again, we have plenty of time. It's going to be a long term project, but the house will be a grand old lady when we're done. We love to have visitors, so if you're in the PA area, drop us a note and we'll have you over.

I've complained about money already, so some of you will think I'm crazy, or at least have questionable priorities, but I have committed to one major luxury in the house. John Van Pelt has agreed to paint a trompe l'oeil mural on my dining room ceiling. It is going to be stunning. The basic plan is to paint the ceiling to look like an old Victorian sunroom. There will be many neat details, but the focus will be a large glass skylight showing the early evening sky beyond. If you're interested, you can follow this project on his website. When it's done, I'm having an unveiling party and you're all invited. It would be a great time to have a Hatrack get-together so make your plans now!

Anyway, that's my life since my 2000th post. Lots of changes and most of them for the better. I still like Hatrack and most of the people here, though I've become disillusioned with the "livingroom" metaphor, mainly because when I try to view Hatrack that way I feel a little like I'm crashing the party. I still thank the Cards for providing the forum. I hope it's still a good part of my life for another couple of thousand posts, at least.

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twinky
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[Smile] [Smile] [Smile] [Smile] [Smile] [Smile] [Smile]
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Space Opera
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KarlEd, I'm happy that you're both so pleased with your home. It sounds as though you and Chris have a great relationship; rushing to get home to someone is always a good sign. [Smile]

You're one of the posters who I look for posts from, even though we haven't "spoken." You've always struck me as the kind of person that I'd love to sit down and have a three hour chat with.

space opera

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Mrs.M
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quote:
some of you will think I'm crazy, or at least have questionable priorities
I think your priorities are perfect. I love trompe l'oeil and plan to have my house done (if Andrew and I ever settle somewhere). Yours sounds stunning - I can't wait to see it.

I'm glad you're here - no one does movie reviews like you.

Congratulations on the happiness you've found with Chris (those are some piercing blue eyes he's got there, btw) and on your new home.

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Farmgirl
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[Hat] Wonderful landmark, KarlEd! I'm glad things have worked out so well for you in your life.

Farmgirl

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Zotto!
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Great LM, Karl. [Smile] Good to hear things are going well. I'm glad you're part of Hatrack. [Smile]
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Corwin
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From someone who has a very vague understading of money, I must say that what you plan on doing with the ceiling rocks! [Cool]

And nice knowing you, and knowing that you have a nice life! [Big Grin]

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aspectre
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"We do get odd looks from time to time, and the occasional glare..."

Well, ya know how it is. Gay folks start moving in, and the first thing they do is renovate the old dumps and make things pretty.
And there goes the neighborhood. Next thing ya know, artists move in cuz they can smell the avant-garde.

And ya know those artists attract academics and trustfundarians, or bring them in as mates. What with them trustfundarians havin' all that money to spend, up jumps the prices of properties in the neighborhood.

Naturally, the stores all start going upscale -- if not by the original owners, then by entrepeneurs who buy them out cuz they can see an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of boomtimes -- for them thar academics and trustfundarians. What with all them newly quaint little shops and boutiques, the lawyers and doctors and dentists and engineers and all start throwin' money at ol' timers as if it were fairy gold destined to turn into straw by the next morning for a house in such a vibrant community.

And heck, with the kinda money being waved in front of their faces, the ol' timers gradually start movin' out to better houses in other neighborhoods, with a bigger chunk of change left over than they ever dreamed of having. And the ol' timers still left miss the familiar faces, hafta deal with newcomers, and deal with the issue of being po' paper millionaires and higher property taxes.

Yep, there goes the ol' neighborhood.

[ March 09, 2005, 03:03 PM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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mackillian
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Awesome, Karl. [Smile]
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Stray
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Thanks for a lovely landmark, Karl [Smile] I'm glad you've found so much happiness with Chris--he's a real cutie!
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Ela
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Cool-looking house, KarlEd. [Smile]

Thanks for catching us up on your life. So glad you've found happiness with your new relationship. [Smile]

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mothertree
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Hi Karl, sorry to hear things didn't work out with Douglas, but I was very heartened by what you have to say about Chris. I know what you mean about wanting to make the relationship work. All the women in my family had been divorced ahead of me, and in the past there were times when it was all that turned me around from considering chucking it all. I'm so glad I've grown past that. :crosses fingers:
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Ralphie
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Hot dang, Karl! Chris is WAY hot!

It's really not right to steal the men away like that. But thanks for helping me catch up on your life via a landmark. I think about you from time and time and wonder how it's going. [Smile]

(Clearly better than I anticipated, you stud-monkey. [Razz] )

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ClaudiaTherese
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Yep. Them's some heart-stealin' bluest blue eyes, there. [Smile]

Thank you for the landmark, KarlEd. I really like having the update on your life. I admire the way you've grown and flourished, and I really like that you've found a way to keep a connection to Hatrack.

What a lovely house. What a lovely man! (And your sweetie isn't too bad, either. [Smile] )

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MyrddinFyre
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^ what they said.

[Big Grin]

Congrats on the landmark!

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Shan
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*whistles appreciatively*

[Big Grin]

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Christy
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I didn't know that your mom had moved into the house next door. That's awesome! I'm so glad things are going well.

[ March 09, 2005, 07:34 PM: Message edited by: Christy ]

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Narnia
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yay Karl! Thank you for takin the time to write and post about your life. I'm so glad that you're happy. [Smile]
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Chris Bridges
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Cool! And we expect pics of the ceiling, you realize...
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Derrell
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[Cool] Great landmark.
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beverly
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[Wave] @KarlEd

Having a house is a *good* thing! [Smile] I loved the Halloween decor pics last year.

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Anna
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Great to hear you're happy, KarlEd !
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ElJay
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[Smile] [Smile] [Smile]

Happy landmark, KarlEd.

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Beren One Hand
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quote:
John Van Pelt has agreed to paint a trompe l'oeil mural on my dining room ceiling.
So jealous. [Smile]
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KarlEd
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Thanks everyone. I appreciate all the good wishes. I will be sure to update you guys on the progress of the mural, or you can bookmark the site I linked to above. John is going to be updating it as it progresses as well.

I'm serious about the unveiling party, though. I'll post the date when we have a better handle on it.

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Kwea
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I will be looking for the progress on the painting.

Karl, I am glad that things are looking up for you and Chris, and I understand exactaly what you mean when you say he makes you a better you.

I feel the same way about my wife. [Big Grin]

(Not that she even knows you......you know what I mean.... [Wink] )

Kwea

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TomDavidson
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Karl, you're one of the coolest guys I've ever met. [Smile] In fact, Christy and I were just planning a vacation around our birthdays and brought up the possibility of hitting the Baltimore/DC area just to see you. *grin* I'll keep you posted.
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KarlEd
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Well, if you do come this way please plan to visit. (I'll send an email with details). It would be fun to see you again and wonderful to meet Christy in person. [Smile]
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Dagonee
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Sounds like you're settling into a very comfortable and fulfilling life. Congratulations on 3,000 and everything else as well.

Dagonee

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msquared
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Dag

Do I see that you have 12,000 posts?

My god, you are worse than Tom. [Smile]

msquared

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Ela
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quote:
In fact, Christy and I were just planning a vacation around our birthdays and brought up the possibility of hitting the Baltimore/DC area just to see you. *grin* I'll keep you posted.
Wait a minute, didn't KarlEd move to Pennsylvania? [Smile]
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BannaOj
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Love the landmark. I'm jealous of the ceiling too, but it's great to have you and Zeguma to commiserate with over home rennovation woes!
*hugs*

AJ

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Mean Old Frisco
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Glad you're doing well, Karl, and good to hear from you. [Smile]

If you could kindly schedule any open house parties around my vacation schedule...

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Miro
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Great landmark, Karl. Some of those photos you linked to are gorgeous! [Smile]
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KarlEd
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Yeah, I moved to PA, but it's only an hour from downtown Baltimore. I'm actually working at the same place and have nearly the same commute. I'm just commuting South-North by car rather than Northwest-Southeast by subway.
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saxon75
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I've always felt that being in the Overlook campaign with you (as well as the rest of the gang) increases my coolness by association, Karl.

You have a gorgeous house, not that you need me to say so. Now, personally, I never enjoy the actual work of home improvement, but I do like the feeling of accomplishment and ownership once I've completed a project. I can only imagine what it will feel like when you've finally completed all the stuff you're talking about. It'll be great.

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Kama
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Chris has an earring in his ear. That's, like, so gay [Razz]
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esl
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My brother has an earring in his ear too! Is he gay? [Eek!]

Happy 3000th, Karl! Keep 'em coming [Big Grin]

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LadyDove
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quote:
There's an odd kind of societal pressure some gay men feel. For me, it was as if I had a responsibility to the gay community to make it work if only to show "them" that gay men can form lasting relationships as well as straight men can.
Maybe it's because of the circles I float in, but I'm always more shocked to hear about my gay friends splitting than I am to find out about my straight friends divorcing.

I think that this is one of the things that creates my particular bias about homosexuality. The uniqueness of the situation seems to be part of the glue that keeps my friends together.

Thank you for sharing your house and your life with us. And yes, your guy is smokin'!

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Hobbes
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Can I call you a friend Karl? I'd like to. [Smile]

Hobbes [Smile]

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KarlEd
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Please do. [Smile]

I hope a lot of you feel that way. I wish I could meet more of you face to face. There's a standing invitation to my house for any Hatrackers that find themselves in the PA area. Just drop me an email.

Karl

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Hobbes
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Well if that offer is till open in two or three years, I'm sure Annie and I will try to stop by. [Smile]

Hobbes [Smile]

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KarlEd
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Definitely. [Smile]
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MaydayDesiax
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If B and I are ever up that way too, I think we'll take you up on it.

((Karl))

Congrats on 3000, and the super-hot boyfriend. Damn.

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dread pirate romany
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It's wonderful to hear your life falling together so well...I remember the posts where you were worried about your mom. Congrats to you and Chris ont eh lovely house!

How far is Hanover from the Penn State area? I might be back there next year, or the one after.

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