StaRGazing 2008

February 15-18, 2008

Welcome to StaRGazing 2008! We are thrilled that you are interested in finding out about our upcoming event! We've taken the time to put on this website substantial information including descriptions of Programs and Speakers, Entertainment, Special Events, Games, Kids Track, Registration Forms, Registration Hours at the RG, a Schedule of Events, the Mommy Letter, in both Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF formats, outlining items that you should consider when planning your RG experience, Locations and Activities in the immediate area, and other information regarding Volunteer Opportunities and the Hotel itself. If you have any questions that aren't answered in these pages, please feel free to contact RG Chair Desiree E. Sagray [at] before February 14th or at 626-329-3979 afterwards. We look forward to seeing you there!

You can obtain the free Adobe Acrobat PDF reader here.

Stimulating Speakers!

Electrifying Entertainment!

Fabulous Food - All Meals and the Saturday Night Banquet Included in Your Registration Fee!

Speaking of which, you can download the registration form in both PDF and Word versions here:
Download StaRGazing 2008 Registration Form - Word Document
Download StaRGazing 2008 Registration Form - PDF Document

You can obtain the free Adobe Acrobat PDF reader here.

$130 for full weekend
$80 for Fri./Sat. only
Kids are $55 for F/S or $80 for full weekend

The Saturday Night Special – only $50!
Extended to 2/13 by Popular Demand!

Interested in just getting a taste of Greater Los Angeles Area Mensa's Regional Gathering, literally? Come join Mensans from across the country for Saturday evening for the GLAAM RG's Posh Saturday night banquet buffet, followed by our keynote speaker (talk radio personality Thom Hartmann), and dancing and karaoke (with DJ K). Cost for these Saturday night activities: $50. Pre-registration and payment is necessary no later than 2/13/08; sign in at the RG's Registration desk from 5-6:30 PM on Saturday night, 2/16/08. See below for details, or email your questions to

Registration hours at the door:

Friday 3:00pm - 10:00pm
Saturday 8:30am - 11:30am & 1:30pm - 6:00pm

What, you've been too busy jet-setting around the globe to join us the last three years? Here's a little incentive to get you in the door: 10% DISCOUNT on registration fees for anyone who DIDN'T attend the GLAAM RG in 2005, 2006 or 2007!!! (In other words, the last GLAAM RG you attended was 2004 or earlier or you've never attended one)

I know, I know, our loyal supporters for the last three years are screaming, “Hey, what about us! What are we, chopped liver?” We wouldn't forget about you. For those who did attend ALL of the last three GLAAM RGs, we're having a drawing for one FULL REFUND of 2008 registration fees!

Your Ultra-Posh Accommodations:

Hacienda Hotel at LAX
525 N. Sepulveda Blvd
El Segundo, CA 90245
(310) 615-0015
GLAAM RG Rate: $89 Single/Double
Park your ride for $5/overnight (including in-and-out privileges) or $3 for day-trippers (but no in-and-out privileges)

Programs and Speakers

Keynote Speaker: Thom Hartmann

StaRGazing 2008 is pleased to announce Thom Hartmann as its Keynote Speaker. Thom is a nationally syndicated talk show host on Air America Radio. His program is carried live locally on KTLK-AM 1150 and he is the highest-rated progressive talk host in America. Thom is also a New York Times best-selling author on the subjects of progressive politics and ADD/ADHD.

Click Here for our full roster of Programs and Speakers.


Saturday Night Dance with DJ K

Put on your dancing shoes and your best dressy eveningwear for StaRGazing 2008's traditional Saturday Night Dance. Your host, DJ K is the former Chief DJ for Club Med Vacation resorts and brings thousands of dance songs to the party including Top-40, Classic Rock, Disco / Funk & Old School, R&B and Hip-Hop, Alternative Rock, Flashback 80's & 90's Country, Classical, Jazz, Spanish (Salsa/Marengue/Cumbias) and everybody's favorite, Karaoke!

The Second Annual StaRGazing Stand-up Spectacular!

Sunday night, the return of last year's StaRGazing Stand-up Spectacular featuring the comedy stylings of LA's best up-and-coming comics hosted by Blaine Capatch, former host of “Beat the Geeks”. Also starring Kevin Kataoka who's performed on “Comedy Central's Premium Blend”. This year's lineup includes Lizzie Cooperman who's performed on the “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and returning favorites from last year Andrew Solmssen, Brandon Burkhart, Shawn Carlow, Matt Manser, Amanda Egge, and Erik Charles Nielson! (Mild adult-oriented language and themes.)

Click Here for full details on our Entertainment offerings.

Fun and Games

StaRGazing 2008 presents a wide variety of participatory games and amusements including trivia, improvisational comedy, music games, puzzle games, roleplaying games, classic board game tournaments, Texas Hold 'Em, and of course that venerable Mensa favorite, Carnelli.

Click Here for the full Fun and Games listing.

Special Events

StaRGazing 2008 proudly presents the following Special Events: New Member Reception, GenX Pub Crawl, Mensa Testing, Kids Track, Formal Banquet and Dance with Keynote Address, MERF Auction, StaRGazing Gallery, The Second Annual StaRGazing Stand-up Spectacular and Monday Morning Media Exchange.

Click Here for full details on our Special Events.

Saturday Night Banquet

For the first time ever, the sumptuous Saturday Night Banquet is included in your StaRGazing 2008 registration fee. Featuring Roast Pork Loin with Chipotle Apple Sauce; Chicken Marsala; Caesar, Greek, Oriental, and Tomato Mozzarella Salads; Vegetarian Pasta; Assorted Cheese Tray; Relish Tray; Sliced Seasonal Fresh Fruit Platter; Seasonal Vegetables; Rolls and Butter; Coffee, Tea, and Milk; and German Chocolate Cake.

What's around the Hacienda Hotel?

Walk one block to the north – Carl's Jr., followed by Stick 'n Stein, followed by IHOP.

Stick 'n Stein has displays all over the walls of jerseys signed by their famous wearers, etc., over 20 television screens for sports viewing, and three pool tables. Chairs and the banister up to a second level are made of baseball bats. “Sports-type” menu (great beer-batter onion rings) and a soup-n-salad bar.

Walk across the street – Ralph's Market and Starbucks.

Walk across the street and one block north – FedEx Kinko's, Sizzler and a bunch of hole-in-the-wall places to eat.

Walk two blocks South to Grand and 1 mile west, get into El Segundo. Lots of restaurants and stores on Main Street, including: Papillion, in the 400 block, a Filipino Vegetarian restaurant (non-vegetarian options also available)

Old Town Music Hall, 140 Richmond Street, 1 block west of Main Street, has old time movies (will have a Laurel and Hardy collection on our weekend) preceded by the Mighty Wurlitzer, a band all its own. Fri. 8:30, Sat. 2:30 & 8:30, Sun. 2:30, cost $8. Live Jazz concert Sunday night, $20.

Walk 1 block east and 1 block south to find Mattel, 333 Continental Blvd., which has a Mattel toy shop on premises.

Drive North to Imperial Blvd. and West to Dockweiler State Beach.

Walk 2 blocks east to 555 Nash Street for the Toyota Sports Center, training center for the LA Kings, LA Sparks, and LA Lakers, with two public ice skating rinks.

Walk or Drive South to The Lakes at El Segundo 9-hole Golf Course, Plaza El Segundo with Borders Books, Cost Plus World Market, Whole Foods Market, Best Buy, and more...

Fry's Electronics at the corner of Rosecrans

East on Rosecrans to the Marriott Village 9-hole Golf Course

Drive South to Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab at Manhattan Beach Pier for an exhibit of Santa Monica Bay's native flora and fauna. Docents are eager to talk about the creatures in the aquaria and touch tanks. Wheelchair accessible.

Drive North to J. Paul Getty Museum for art and architecture.

StaRGazing 2008 Needs You!

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The 2008 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, and Kids Track. Consider a single two- or three-hour shift for any of the aforementioned needs and forward your contact information to Chair Desiree Sagray at or (626) 329-3979.

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 Desiree Sagray as a willing helper!

The Registration Desk will be open during the hours listed at the top of this page. Please consider which times you may be available to sit out front and greet our new arrivals! Let Registrar Jared Levine know about your availability. See him at the registration desk or email him ahead of time at

The Kids 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 Kids Track events. The specific Kids 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

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. 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!

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 2008 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.