Welcome to the webpage of

Ms. Andrea M. Lynn

~ Who I am ~

For any individual the words they use to describe themselves will change throughout their lives. I am certainly no different. As such the following should only be considered a current snapshot. For each of the words you see below I could easily add a dozen or more others as I continue this journey of my life.

 

friends

scifi/fantasy

gaming

reading

queer

family

travel

shopping

fashion

 

 

 

computers

corsetry

Lawrence

education

KU

house

wine

cooking

Email Me at MsAndreaL @ aol.com
Visit my photo gallery.

Friends

From a very early age I learned to treasure the kind special relationship that is particular to close friends. Although I grew up a bit on the shy side I somehow always found special people around me and made those select people into friends. Through the years I have lost track of too many of these people and feel the lesser for it. However, email and the web have made staying in contact so much easier. I sincerely hope that I never again lose a friend simply because of the physical distance between us. Here's a brief sample of some of those people that I'm privledged to call my friends.

Tim Harline and Kirsten Frank (no webpage)
What can I say about T & K? They are simply some of the dearest individuals I've ever known. Kirsten and I entered Northwestern the same year and I was honored to be the Best Man at their wedding. Hopefully they've managed to forgive me for embarassing them at their reception. When my father died they were the first to be by my side and I will always be grateful to them for standing by me at that time and at every time since then when I have needed the support. Currently they are a bit preoccupied with the fact that they have welcomed a new addition to their household: Emily Harline.

John Cardosa (no webpage)
John really ought to have a webpage of his own as I'm sure there are hundreds of his former students just waiting for an available link. He was my high school speech coach (thank you for providing a team that became so much more than that) and grew into a mentor and invaluable friend. Despite several years of staunch resistance he has finally been assimilated and has his own email address, which, out of the goodness of my heart, I have decided NOT to post here. You owe me John. All too often it is his voice I hear in my brain with one of his special aphorisms: "Patience is a virtue; it is also a discipline."

Ms. Caitlyn Antrim (no webpage)
The daughter of Admiral Antrim, advisor on Law of the Sea issues, former restraunteer and current freelancer, Catie's been a wonderful friend with whom I've shared many an adventure: happy, sad and indeterminant. She's the one that introduced me to the Lord of the Dance and to the Four Bitchin' Babes. In return I taught her how to play Magic:TG and she's never forgiven me for the effect on her pocketbook.

Holly Wilper
A woman with a fabulous sense of what makes a good bridesmaid's gown, juggler, horserider, Tai Chi mistress, biologist, computer geek with a penchant for falling for other computer geeks, and all around wonderfully sweet person. In a bizarre way she's the reason why I ended up moving to Champaign/Urbana and therefore its her fault that I had to leave all the wonderful people I have met while in Champaign/Urbana including her husband Peter who truly is the computer geek she's always lusted after. She's been busy in recent years by working for Intel and raising their daughters Rowan and Willow.
 
Friends I've lost track of... <Under Construction>
This will link to a page of friends that I've largely lost contact with and/or folks that I rarely talk to but often miss terribly.
 

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Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Nothing has quite captured my imagination and interest the way SF/F has. From the first time I saw the animated version of The Hobbit I knew I had discovered something wonderous. JRR Tolkein was my first introduction to the literature and I still count his works as the standard against which I judge all others. I developed a fascination for dragons and fell in love with Anne McCaffrey's works which I introduced to my parents. To my delight they fell in love as well. Since then I have fed on a steady diet of classic and not-so-classic authors including: Michael Moorcock, Fritz Leiber, Katherine Kurtz, Elizabeth Moon and Mercedes Lackey. At some point I discovered science fiction and my father introduced me to the master of space opera: EE "Doc" Smith. Bug eyed monsters, planet destroying weapons, and the ultimate triumph of the human mind and heart, what could be better?

Like most SF/F types I don't limit myself to literature. Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5, Highlander, Forever Knight, Farscape, and Firefly all have captured my interest at one time or another and I end up taping way too many television shows and going to see nearly every SF/F movie to hit the theaters. And what kind of SF fan would I be if I wasn't way psyched that Doctor Who is back on TV.

I also spend a bit of my time running around to various SF/F conventions around the country. They are great places to meet new friends, hob nob with SF/F's movers and shakers and generally find out the latest gossip on what's going on and what's going to go on. I had the pleasure of going to my first World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention in Baltimore in 1998. That certainly wasn't the first or last of my SF/F conventions though. I regularly attend at least a couple each year. With the advent of my return to graduate school I've been pretty well limited to two local conventions: Conquest and Contra-ception.

A friend (Tom) and I in the lobby of one of the many convention hotels I've been in, and yes, my hair is red (circa 2001).

This is a little more recent - ConQuest 35, April 2005. (Star, Julianna, and I)

more con photos here

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Gaming

In addition to Magic: the Gathering I'm also tremendously fond of gaming in general. Card games, board games, role-playing games: you name it and I'll at least give it a try. I have to admit to being just a little on the competitive side (I can hear the derision now... "a little?") and while I enjoy just sitting down and having a good time its just a little bit better when I can win too. Just for fun I'll list a few of my favorites.

 

Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan - online

 

Chess

International Chess Federation
US Chess Federation

Useful Pages:
ChessOps Openings
ECO Openings
Exeter Chess Club on Openings

Diplomacy

Europe goes to war

 

 

Illuminati

Who knows who is really in control?

 

Vampire

White Wolf Games - the publishers

 

Fantasy Football

Ralphie Fantasy Football League

The Current Season

 

"Beer & Pretzels" Games

Cthulthu 500
Bell Bottomed Badasses on the Mean Streets of Funk et al
Battle of the Bands
There's a Moose in the House

 

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Reading

What do I read? My mother describes me as an omnivore; I'll read anything that comes into my grasp. I gained this moniker when she walked into the kitchen one morning and found me reading the cereal boxes. I don't find the time to do too much reading for pleasure anymore as most of my reading time is occupied with work on the dissertation but I can occasionally be found devouring some fantasy, sf, and/or military/spy fiction as well. Some of my favorite authors:

J.R.R. Tolkien,

Laurel K. Hamilton,

Elizabeth Moon,

Niccolo Macchiavelli,

H.P. Lovecraft,

Martha Crenshaw,

Robert Ludlom

and many, many others.

My current reading consists of the following:

Lots of Stuff for the Dissertation

Journals:

Journal of Conflict Resolution ~ Studies in Conflict and Terrorism ~ Political Psychology

 

Books:

basically bunches of stuff on social identity theory
and the occasional professional text on terrorism

For Fun:

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

 

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Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual & Transgender

I guess its time to mention the queer thing...
Yes I am transgendered. I was born with a Y chromosome and have since learned to cope with that little drawback *grin*. As with everything else in my life I couldn't even manage to be the 'normal' transgendered person. Rather than "choose" a gender and stick with it I've decided that I'm very attached to my
male side but can't give up being a woman either. So I'm caught in between and have to define my own path between our society's polar opposite views of gender. At the same time I feel it my duty to help others come to an understanding of these issues. I don't want anyone to have to feel that they are all alone in this, nor do I want to miss an opportunity to stand up and help end the lack of familiarity that can all too often culminate in fear and sometimes anger. In recognition of my attempts in this area I was awarded the GLBT Community Leader Scholarship by the University of Kansas in 2001. If you are transgendered or a partner to someone that is, the world's largest transgender convention is held every year in Atlanta, Georgia: Southern Comfort. This is a great chance to see the many facets of our community and to find and meet people dealing with the same issues that you are dealing with. I haven't been able to attend since restarting graduate school but I keep hoping to get back there.

Here are some links to sites that may be of assistance to you if you are transgendered or learning about the topic. If you are the partner of a TG individual you might be interested in my sweetie's links on her TG partners sites.

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Family

I grew up in many different places and knowing many different people - a Navy brat (place the emphasis where you will). The constants in my life seemed to be the Navy and moving every few years. Some might call it a difficult way to grow up but if I learned anything from those years its that you can find and make your own happiness no matter where you find yourself in this world. I watched my father dedicate the best of himself in service to his country and learned what true loyalty and patriotism were. I watched mom stand beside him and love her little family despite having her husband away - sometimes for months on end. From her I learned love and dedication. Dad seemed to think I picked up a little of her stubborness; as long as I can claim my father's sometimes irreverent sense of humor too I'm willing to cut him a little slack on that point. The love I felt as I grew up made all the difference in the world. My parents have always believed in me and when they pushed me they did so only because they knew I was being a lazy bones and not living up to my potential. I love them dearly.

The worst instant of my life was receiving the phone call that told me my father had died. He died a young man at the age of 50 and in so many ways he has missed seeing just who his only child was to become. I know in my heart that he would be proud of me for having the courage to be who I am. I will forever miss him and truly wish he were still with my mom and I.


My parents

Soon afterwards I welcomed a friend into my circle of family. She has shown me more love and faith than I would have ever expected an individual could. She has stood by me, pushed me, and keeps me headed toward my life's goals. When I've been scared she's been there to walk with me and help me find the courage that I myself could not find. I don't know what I've done to deserve having Star as my sweetie but I thank my dumb luck that she is with me.


Star at the KC Renn. Faire

Star and I are also lucky to share our family with two wonderful children of the four footed variety.


Teddy Bear Dog & Tony "The Cat" Picucci

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Travel

Aside from the bunches of moving I did as a youngster, I still like to get out and about for jaunts around the country. Much of my travel is done for the sake of conventions like Conquest (SF/F) or Southern Comfort (TG) but I also like to just take off and see family and friends wherever they may be: Stockton, Washington DC, Chicago. A couple years ago my sweetie and I jaunted down to Clearwater, FL to see if the sun really does exist in January (it does...). As a graduate student I expect that my travel opportunites will be severly hampered by my lack of funds but I did manage to make it down to New Orleans for the South West Political Science Association Annual Meeting in 2002. My sweetie and I also have spent considerable time in the car traveling coast to coast in the last year. Rather than duplicate effort I'll just direct you to her travel reports.

But I will share a pic from our visit to the Grand Canyon

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Shopping

Shopping is just plain fun. My sweetie is the kind that knows what they are going to get, runs into the store, buys and leaves. What's the fun in that? I want to meander and see what's out there. Whether its a new line of lingerie from Victoria's Secret, the newest paperback releases or simply the imported cheese section at the local supermarket, I don't want to miss anything. I want to taste test. I want to try it on. I want to read labels and most importantly I want to come home laden with wonderful new goodies for myself and the people around me. Today, of course, you can also shop via catalog or online and while they aren't nearly as rewarding and as healthy as walking the mall they are still delightful when you need that little pick-me-up. So you want to join me for some shopping? Try these links:

Clothing

Lerners

New York & Co.

Victoria's Secret

 

Books

BlackDragon Books (my SF/F dealer)

Best Book Buys (comparison shopping)

Toys (all ages)

John's Toys (they have Daleks)

Blowfish ("Adult" Toys)

Computer Stuff

Apple's Official Site

MacMall

 

Cooking

Williams-Sonoma

Cooking.com

 

Misc

Ebay

Overstock.com

CafePress.com

 

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Fashion

I don't mean running out and buying the absolute newest hot shade of lipstick or season's newest length of skirt but rather having pride in one's appearance, taking the time to be put together and maintaining a certain sense of style no matter what the situation. Yes, I bought khaki cargo pants but I did leave those hideous capri pants on the rack. I try to stay current on the general fashion scene and can certainly recommend the following as good sources.

Regardless of what the current trends are, everyone has certain things that work for them and its worthwhile to know what those are. Whatever it is, whether its a certain length of skirt, cut of blouse or color of blush, these things work for you and finding those things is what fashion is all about. Now that doesn't mean you have to find yourself trapped into just one look - heaven forbid! I'm often pouring through recent catalogs just to see what is out there. If something catches my eye in a catalog then next time I'm in a clothing store I'll look for a similar article and give it a try. Sometimes you've got to put up with the snickers from your girlfriends for the next day or so (or until they try on something equally as hideous) but its just so worth it when you find something that really brings an outfit or look together. Hopefully I've been somewhat successful. I know I've got an entire closet full of attempts...

For those of you that need help with even the basics (sizes etc.) a great place to start is About.com's section on women's fashion.

Speaking of fashion, I bit the bullet in September and went for a new hairstyle. I took 3-4" off my hair - going from below the shoulder to shoulder length - and decided to go with some soft bangs up front.

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Computers

I'm a Mac geek and absolutely love my G4 laptop. Its several years old but still one of the best machines available. Laptops are my machine of choice eversince I supported the 230 series while working in DC. I've never owned a non-mobile computer and frankly don't ever plan to. I upgraded to the Jaguar operating system about two year back and while I was impressed, frankly, I was so used to the pre-OS/X systems that I fumbled around sometimes, hence a need to troubleshoot. I regularly subscribe to MacAddict. Much as I dislike having to admit it, I let Microsoft Excel and Word take care of my basic spreadsheeting and word processing needs although I occasionally make use of BBEdit. For my statistics work I'm a fan of Stata for its ease of use. Don't try dragging me into those religious discussions about what browser is best. I have copies of Firefox, Explorer, Navigator and probably one or two others lurking about on my machine and have been known to use them all. Speaking of religion, I'm likely to get crucified for this but I've been a loyal AOL user for well over a decade. It does what I want it to, when I want it done, and I'm pretty well assured connectivity no matter where we may travel.

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Corsetry

They aren't just for the fetish crowd anymore! Corsets were once relegated to professional costumers or the BDSM scene but have recently been seen everywhere.

Axfords

A well known corset company out of England

Wasp Creations

Formerly Kansas City based

L.I.S.A.

One of the most frequently visited websites dealing with corsetry.

Romantasy

Purveyors of corsets and information on corsetry.

~~~ ~~~
Here, on the left, I am expounding to others about the benefits of corsetry.
It has been a while since I've been actively corset training
which is a bit of shame since the green corset (from BR Corsets) no longer fits the way it should and it is absolutely gorgeous.
Good thing then that I've got the new black and silver corset (in the middle) which was made for me by a friend.
The corset on the right is courtesy of another friend: the wonderful Yosa of Silks and Velvets the photo is Star and I at Conquest 35.

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Lawrence, Kansas (under construction)

Where my sweetie and I currently live. We moved here to further my education back in 1999 and we are still here (see the education section below). Lawrence is a nice enough town about an hour West of Kansas City. It has the distinction of having been burned to the ground by Quantrell's Raiders. I don't really know what else to say about this current home of ours so I'll just provide you with a link to the Visiter's Guide and a link the local newspaper: the Lawrence Journal World; that way you can read up on all the current goings on here in Larryville.

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Education

Ain't working on a PhD just loads of fun?

My Vita should go here...

Links:

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University of Kansas

This is where I work on my PhD. I finally got my act together and started work on my PhD in September of 1999 at the University of Kansas. I am a member of the Political Science Department and affiliated with the Center for International Political Analysis.

KU is home to the Jayhawks of college basketball fame. Unfortunately I'm just not a big fan of college basketball. I hate to say it, and please don't mention it around campus, but the most fun I've had sportswise since coming here has been when my alma mater (Northwestern) has beaten KU's football squad. "Go Wildcats!"

Okay, okay, since you insist: "Rock, chalk Jayhawk!"

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House

My sweetie and I bought a house and have steadily been working on making it a home over the last 4-5 years. Major accomplishments in that regard over the past few months include having new flooring put in and the putting up and taking down of an 11 1/2 foot tall Christmas tree.


The Tree

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Wines

Yummy goodness in the form of the juice of rotting grapes.
We have made some progress regarding the house red wines but are still struggling to find a white that is general purpose enough to qualify.

House Reds

House Whites

Stonehedge Merlot

Valdadige Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio

A-Mano Primitivo

Ravenswood Zinfandel Vintners Blend

Gruet Demi-Sec Sparkling Wine

I've been known to drink other things than wine.
Here I am at my birthday in 2004 working on several Kamikazee shots.

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Cooking

Okay, just this once I'll let you into the kitchen...

I don't profess to be a chef but nevertheless I do take a fair amount of pride in the quality of the table I present. As with much in life, if you want to do something well then you need to make sure you have the proper tools. Most of my cookware has come by way of Cooking.com.

All-Clad

Calphalon

Choosing Cookware

One should also take the opportunity to thank those that stand before them and provide them with inspiration.

Alton Brown
and
Alton Brown @ The Food Network

Jamie Oliver
and
Jamie Oliver @ The Food Network

My Mother

Say it with me "We're not worthy, we're not worthy..." What cosmic fluke wound up with someone this good doing a weekly TV show on cooking? He's amazing! He tells you what he's doing and why from both the practical and (very basic) scientific levels. When you watch him put food together you understand why it turns out the way it does and any cook that does that is brilliant.

I don't catch Jamie as much as I'd like. He has a very simple approach to cooking that saves time and effort. A lot of his recipes find their way into my library because of their simplicity and speed, not to mention taste and beauty. You gotta love this guy, he's another Food Network fave with a quirky sense of humor albeit very different from Alton's.

"I'll show you how to cook because then I know you will never starve." With those words my mother introduced me to the joys of kitchen work. She and my father were damn fine home cooks. You weren't going to get anything too weird; no nouveu French cuisine in our house but she did instill in me the ability to take nearly any batch of goodies and whip them up into something edible.

Also helpful are handy reference guides.

I'm Just Here For The Food

The Ultimate Cooking Course
and Kitchen Encyclopedia

Cook's Illustrated

Alton Brown explains the ins and outs of cooking in a cookbook that is arranged by cooking method rather than food type. Sure this has recipes but more importantly, it tells you what is going on in the cooking processes to help you become a better cook rather than a mere follower of recipes.
Alton has several books out and I can recommend them all; I can vouch for his DVDs as well.

I shouldn't even bother to put this book away. This is a tremendously handy reference for how to cook any number of basic dishes. It provides how to tips and techniques and the basics of how to prepare nearly anything you'll find in the average American supermarket.

This is, hands down, the best cooking magazine on the market. You want a recipe on Creme Brulee? How about taking you through several different recipes demonstrating how each difference results in a slightly different Creme Brulee? Techniques, definitions, reviews and on top of everything else it doubles as a kind of Consumer Reports for the cooking world.

 

Send email to me at: MsAndreaL @ aol.com

friends

scifi/fantasy

gaming

reading

queer

family

travel

shopping

fashion

 

 

computers

corsetry

Lawrence

education

KU

house

wine

cooking

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