Greater Los Angeles Area Mensa

proudly presents:

StaRGazing 2007

Feb 16-19, 2007


(Please note that this Regional Gathering has concluded!)


Welcome to StaRGazing 2007! We have updated this website with lots of information regarding Programs, Entertainment, Banquets, the Hotel, Volunteer Opportunities, and our Special Events. Registration Flyers are still available and the registration deadline for mailing is closer than you think! Please feel free to direct any questions for which you do not find answers here to Desiree E. Sagray at [email protected]. Please come back often to view updates to the program as they become available.

UPDATE: Costume Ball information now available and Mommy Letter now on-line. You can find them in the Forms section below.


StaRGazing 2007 Needs You!

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The 2007 RG needs your help! We have lots of opportunities for people to participate and earn those all important Mensa Bucks this year by volunteering your time at the RG. With enough extra response, we’ll be able to have short shifts and no burn out! Basically, we need volunteers for the Hospitality Room, Registration Desk, Kid’s Track, and for Entertainment assistance. Consider a single two- or three-hour shift for any of the aforementioned needs and forward your contact information to Chair Desiree Sagray at LAMensaRG@gmail.com or (626) 329-3979.

Please note that the RG Program and Event Schedule is currently available on-line through this page. Please review the information there to assist you in deciding which times you would be available to assist in any of the below areas. The Committee thanks you in advance for your assistance!

Hospitality will have different shifts available for people to help with general overview (keeping the snack trays filled and fresh; drinks chilled; etc.); the served meals (Friday dinner, Saturday Breakfast and lunch; Sunday lunch and dinner; and Monday breakfast) and the large set-up on Friday and the tear down on Monday. If you are arriving early or staying late, consider presenting yourself to Hospitality Chair Jamie Braucht as a willing helper!

The Registration Desk has specific hours on Friday from 3-10 PM; Saturday 8:30 - 11:30 AM and 1:30 - 6:00 PM; Sunday 8:30 - 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Please consider which times you may be available to sit out front and greet our new arrivals!

The Kid’s Track has specific and unique needs related to the interest and availability of some chapter members who may be willing to work with the Mensa Kids during the Kid’s Track events. The specific Kid’s Track activities are usually geared for the younger participants and specific items will need to be coordinated with Madeline Walker in advance of the RG. Please contact her directly at Madeline@spidellspecialties.com.

There are always needs for people to assist our Entertainment Coordinators with the schlepping of various items that are carried by our Entertainers. However, Jay Friedlander is also looking for volunteers to assist as dealers, croupiers, etc. to facilitate the faux gambling activities during Club GLAAM on Sunday evening. If you have any interest or willingness to spend part of the evening on “the other side” of the tables, please contact Jay directly at livesoutwest@yahoo.com.

Personal Angels — Some of our attendees may need some personalized assistance. We may need fast typists to transcribe presentations for the hard-of-hearing, strong rollers for pushing manual wheelchairs, a steady guiding arm for the blind. We don’t know what needs may exist, so if you’re a generally helpful sort, or one with a specialty, we’d like to know whether and when we can call upon your assistance during the weekend.

Keep in mind, volunteering can earn lots of Mensa Bucks which are ultimately used to buy raffle tickets for prizes. Our prizes this year include $100, Free Registration for 2008, Free Meal Plan for 2008, Free Registration for 2007 and Free Meal Plan for 2007. Volunteering is also a great way to break the ice and meet some other Mensans if you are newer to the chapter and looking for the opportunity to get more involved!

We appreciate your consideration and look forward to seeing you all in at the RG!


Program and Speakers:

StaRGazing 2007 is pleased to announce that our Keynote Speaker on Saturday evening is Richard Lederer. This San Diego Mensan and long-time Mensa Bulletin language columnist will present an array of Presidential Trivia — the feats, fates, families, foibles, and firsts of our American presidents.

Richard Lederer is the author of more than 30 books about language and humor, including his best-selling Anguished English series and his current book, Word Wizard. Dr. Lederer’s syndicated column, “Looking at Language,” appears in newspapers and magazines throughout the United States, including the Mensa Bulletin. He has been elected International Punster of the Year and been profiled in magazines as diverse as The New Yorker, People, and The National Enquirer. He is language columnist for The Toastmaster, Pages, and The Farmers’ Almanac and is a “verbivore” on “A Way with Words” on public radio each weekend.

We are further pleased that on Sunday Mr. Lederer will also be presenting his talk: “Confessions of a Verbivore,” wherein he will take you on a joy ride through the English language.

Click here to see additional presenters and programs.


Entertainment:

Filk Singing — Filk singing started as a typo for “folk” at a science-fiction convention. Original melodies and parodies with a science, sci-fi, or social commentary theme. Most of the songs are humorous. Featuring GLAAM’s own Alan Stillson.

Saints and Sinners Costume Ball with Rockdaddy! This highly accomplished and entertaining group is composed of music industry pros who’ve played in bands with big names like Ray Charles, Edgar Winter, Stephen Bishop, Peter Tork, The Drifters and many others. Lead singer Kate Harris’s works have been featured in films like Legally Blonde and What Lies Beneath. Not tied to any one musical genre, the band’s repertoire includes hits from the 50’s through the 90’s, plus swing and jazz standards, disco and country. (See the list of Forms below for a copy of costume ball instructions.)

Viki Kind presents Ballroom Dancing Lessons. You don’t know how to dance? That’s okay. For the first time in our memory, we’ll be offering a dance class! Learn to dance, then shine on the dance floor cutting a rug with RockDaddy on Saturday night, and our DJ on Sunday night during Club GLAAM.

“Mayor Villaraigosa” — Purchase the Saturday night banquet and enjoy the musings of everyone’s favorite mayor as portrayed by comedian Hal Rudnick. He loves you each, he loves you all.

Club GLAAM — By popular demand, our exceedingly entertaining casino and dance event returns on Sunday night, hosted by a professional DJ for your dancing and karaoke pleasure. DJ services provided by Energy Entertainment.

Puccini — Purchase the Sunday morning breakfast and enjoy soprano Serena Sagray singing a program of Puccini’s music, with an emphasis on the changes and development of his work over time.

The First Annual StaRGazing Stand-up Spectacular!

The lineup:

Frank Coniff
Wrote for, and starred as TV's Frank in Mystery Science Theater 3000 for five years. During that time, MST3K was nominated for two Emmys and two Cable Ace Awards. Frank was also Head Writer of the Emmy-winning Nickelodeon show Invader Zim and Executive Story Editor of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

Erica Doering
Popular voice actress who performs for the nationally syndicated Mancow radio show. You've heard her voice on video games such as Star Trek: Invasion. Featured in Squeaky Clean Comedy: 1512 Dirt-Free Jokes from the Best Comedians. Reviews movies for the Independent Horror News Podcast. Performs stand-up at various venues throughout Hollywood.

Andrew Solmssen
Computer consultant by day, Hollywood stand-up by night. Host of the New Faces show at the Hollywood Improv.

Amanda Egge
Hollywood stand-up and Member of Mensa. Host of the popular (and notorious) “Dirtiest Sketch Contest” at the UCB theater in Hollywood.

Brandon Burkhart
Made it to the final 11 on 1 vs. 100 before the 1 quit. Performs sketch comedy at various venues in Hollywood. Writes syndicated comedy bits for Premiere Radio Network. Star of independent films Match and Hollywood and Vine.

Shawn Carlo
Performs stand-up at venues all over Hollywood. Staff writer for the critically-acclaimed, current-events-based, sketch comedy show Big News at IO West in Hollywood.

Matt Manser
One of the hardest working stand-ups in Hollywood.

Erik Charles Nielson
There is only one ECN. No one forgets the horror.


Banquets:

Full Meal Plan: $39 (both Saturday night banquet and Sunday morning breakfast)

Posh Saturday Night Banquet Buffet ($27):
Rio Grande Chile Beans with Carne Grated Cheddar and Red Onion; Garden Select Greens with Assorted Dressings; Macaroni Salad; Sliced Fresh Fruit; Corn on The Cob with Peppered Butter; Mashed Potatoes with Gravy; Barbequed Chicken Breast; Roast Sirloin of Beef; Rice Pilaf and Roasted Garlic Red Potatoes; Chef’s Selection of Fresh Seasonal Vegetables; Warm Dinner Rolls and Butter; Coffee, Ice Tea, or Milk; Chef’s Dessert Table

SPECIAL PROGRAMMING NOTE: The Saturday Banquet includes entertainment from appearance by “Mayor Villaraigosa” as presented by comedian Hal Rudnick.

Sunday Morning Puccini Breakfast Buffet ($15):
Assorted Chilled Juices; Fresh Scrambled Eggs; Thick Sliced Smokehouse Bacon and Sausage Links; Country Style Breakfast Potatoes; An Assortment of Freshly Baked Muffins, Assorted Bagels, and Cream Cheese; Croissants; Freshly Brewed Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee, Hot Tea, or Milk

SPECIAL PROGRAMMING NOTE: The Puccini Breakfast will include live entertainment provided by soprano Serena Sagray as she presents a program of Puccini music with an emphasis on the changes and development of his work over time.

Vegetarian options will be available with one week notice to the RG Chair. We apologize, but we cannot confirm our ability to accomodate a vegan preference at this time.


Special Events:

Saturday Night Saints & Sinners Costume Ball is an opportunity to utilize that creative free expression that so many in our chapter are known for! We admit it ... there are a lot of ‘religious’ programs as part of the RG this year. It wasn’t so much by design as default ... so we decided to ‘go with it’ for the Costume Ball this year. Feel free to emote as an allegorical expression of piety or perversion! Channel your internal costume designer as you ‘throw together’ or hand make that elegant creation a fantastical delight for the senses! Opt for the historical recreations or go as ‘pure energy’ — we don’t care! Prizes will be awarded for originality, execution, and style. (See the list of Forms below for a copy of costume ball instructions.)

MERF White Elephant Auction — In an effort to increase our giving to benefit Scholarships for undergraduate students in our area, GLAAM is supporting a local MERF Scholarship. This is your opportunity to get more involved and contribute in this tax deductible and fun way. Stop by and see what looks interesting; enter bids on those you find interesting; and throughout the evening stop by to check on the status of your bid.

Monday Morning Media Exchange — Bring your books, movies, tapes, CDs, DVDs, and periodicals, and check them in for vouchers to be redeemed in the next hour. Then return and claim those items that you have sufficient vouchers for! Browse the trades from your fellow Mensans and take home that gem that is “new to you!”


Hotel:

This year we are pleased to note that there is FREE PARKING available for all guests and day visitors to the hotel.

Four Points by Sheraton
In Monrovia
700 W. Huntington Dr.
Monrovia, CA 91016
http://www.starwoodhotels.com/fourpoints
(626) 357-5211
Newly remodeled!

The time has elapsed to secure the Mensa discounted rate. Rooms may still be available for increased cost.


Registration:

Hours:

Friday 3:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Saturday 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM
1:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Sunday 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Registration hours subject to change.


Prices:

  • $70 through 1/15/07
  • $75 through 2/7/07
  • $80 after 2/7/07 & at the door
  • $40 Fri/Sat or Sun/Mon, before 2/7/07
  • $45 Fri/Sat or Sun/Mon, after 2/7/07 & at the door
  • Kids under 18 are half-price at each level

Forms:

Registration forms are available in both Adobe Acrobat (PDF) and Microsoft Word (DOC) formats.

Costume Ball information is also available in both Adobe Acrobat (PDF) and Microsoft Word (DOC) formats.

The “Mommy letter” — what you need to know when you show up and while you're here — is also available in both Adobe Acrobat (PDF) and Microsoft Word (DOC) formats.

You can obtain the free Adobe Acrobat reader here.


Contact Information:

Desiree Sagray is chairing this RG. Send her an email with comments, questions, requests and suggestions about the RG, or contact her by telephone at (626) 329-3979.

This 2007 RG page of the GLAAM website is maintained by Brian Madsen. Send him an email if you see something here that doesn’t look right.