StaRGazing 2013 Events

Annual Business Meeting, Monday, 9:00-9:30am

All Mensa members (no guests, please) are welcome to find out what has happened in GLAAM during the preceding year and what the Board's vision is for the future.

BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) Wine Tasting, Friday Evening

Back by popular demand! This program invites attendees to bring a bottle of wine to share with others in the StaRGazers Lounge on Friday night! Enjoy fellowship with other Mensans and you enjoy the delightful tastes of your fellow wine connoisseurs!

Comedian Daniel Kinno

Daniel Kinno

Born in the former Soviet Republic (and current civil rights violations theme park) Belarus, Daniel Kinno delivers insightful and raucous narratives on topics ranging from the menial tasks of daily life, to relationships, pop culture, history and his unusual Russian heritage with a truly unique perspective. Daniel can be recognized from television where his stand up has been featured on MTV, The Game Show Network and The WB. Kinno has also starred in a 2003 national advertising campaign for ESPN and in 2004 completed the pilot “Boys Behaving Badly.” 2002 Witnessed Daniel's acclaimed performance at the prestigious Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, Canada as part of the New Faces showcase. The Hollywood Reporter described him as having “killed with a charming and smart act” that went to creating the “biggest buzz” of the deal making festival. This led to Daniel performing on stages across America, whether in comedy clubs with top headliners or starring on the college circuit where his showcase performances have placed him at the top of every conference he attends. Kinno's brand of humor knows no bounds and in January 2008, he returned from Afghanistan where he headlined a USO tour entertaining US and International forces. When he's not headlining his own shows across the country and the world, Daniel currently resides in Los Angeles where he works as a writer on television shows and feature films.

Games in our dedicated Game Room

Visit our Games page for much more about our games and tournaments.

Generation X/Y Meet & Greet, Friday, 7:30pm

Want to meet others your age? GenX and Gen Y will get together to start the RG off right. We are open to anyone interested in activities and discussions focused on people in Generation X (1961-1981) or Y (1976-1990), which is anyone in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Join coordinator Danielle Hanne and Anna Kallenborn-Bolden at the Meet & Greet and get to know other (relatively) young Ms before we head out on the Pub Crawl!

GLAAM Awards, Saturday, 8:45pm

Greater Los Angeles Area Mensa has over 50 years of dedicated volunteer service that has made us the organization we are today and will be in the coming years. We celebrate the consistent and longstanding efforts of the amazing members who have given sustained and consistent service over the years through induction into the Hall of Fame and recognition of different service levels. We also acknowledge the efforts of a newer member and the exceptional performance of our top volunteer from the past year with special annual awards. In this very brief ceremony, we celebrate and welcome new Hall of Fame inductees, acknowledge any changes in someone's Hall of Fame status, and present our Rookie of the Year and Member of the Year awards. All Hall of Fame honorees are encouraged to wear their badges and be present to celebrate the new inductees.

Hey, Kids, Let's Put on a Show!

It started as a story-joke, but once the main characters were named Mitzi and Ditzi, it took on a life of its own. All young people who want a part will get a part, even if we have to invent them as we go along. During the hour, we will spend time practicing projecting the voice and general stage presence. In the last 10-15 minutes, our actors will put the play on in front of the audience of parents and others.

Remember Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in Babes in Arms?

We've gotta have a great show, with a million laughs … and color … and a lot of lights to make it sparkle. And songs – wonderful songs. And after we get the people in that hall, we've gotta start em in laughing right away. Oh, can't you just see it…?
— Judy Garland, Babes In Arms, 1939.

So the orphanage has money troubles. How are they going to raise all that money? It's simple. Hey, Kids, Lets Put On A Show! Time to fix up that old barn and put up a stage! Made popular by Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in the 1930s. Our play doesn't have Mickey and Judy, but it probably has an imaginary barn.

Kids' Track, Sunday, supervised by GLAAM Gifted Youth Coordinator Madeline Walker

Visit our Kids' Track page for much more about our programs for children and parents.


Members of LOLA

Put down your pen and paper — no need to take notes on this one!! LOLA is an all-female improv troupe whose quick wits will blow your mind! These ladies take one simple suggestion from the audience and proceed to expound upon the topic with hilarious characters, parallel themes and unique perspectives. Their banter and verbal agility will not only amaze, but also delight. They become instant experts on any topic! Come watch how much they get right and how they make you laugh yourself silly at all the rest!

LOLA consists of Liz Lytle, Canon Wing, Katie Dodson, Jill Carty, Jill Czarnowski, Kim Mulligan, and Jaime Moyer. All trained at Improv Olympic in Los Angeles. Some are high-powered university graduates and Mensa members themselves. Others are poets and artists and creative geniuses. They recently performed in New York's famous Del Close Marathon and currently have a bi-weekly show at Improv Olympic.

M-Atheists SIG Meet & Greet

M-Atheists SIG is an active online discussion group with 965 members.

We get together in person every year at the Annual Gathering, but this RG is your local chance to show evidence that you exist. Stop by to meet some of your fellow critical thinkers face-to-face, brain-to-brain! Meet & Greet will be free-form casual format unless someone steps forward to play leader.

Mai Tais with The Goddess Kristine in the StaRGazers Lounge

The Goddess Kristine mixes her traditional and fabulous mai tais. She offers both leaded and unleaded varieties.

Media Exchange

Bring your unwanted books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, tapes or any media to the table for attendees to take home. Remaining items will be donated to a library or charity.

Mensa Testing, Sunday, 9:00-11:15am

Invite your family and friends to take the official Mensa exam and see if they qualify for membership in Mensa. Feel free to stay and join us for the day's festivities. Please sign up in advance! Contact Proctor Dave Felt at and see his website at

New Member Reception, Saturday, 9:30am

Welcome New Mensans! This is your chance to meet your fellow Mensans at GLAAM's largest party of the year – the RG! We'll have a brief period of orientation followed by the opportunity to enjoy the rest of the RG offerings. Please RSVP with Danielle so we know how many to count.

Practical Burlesque, Sunday, 9:00pm

Red Snapper Dizzy Von Damn! Mr. Snapper & Mr. Buddy

This event kicks off with an abridged burlesque show with vaudeville by Mr. Snapper & Mr. Buddy and striptease by Dizzy Von Damn! and Red Snapper. Then Red Snapper will give you a smidge of burlesque history and a few burlesque techniques you can take home to spice up your life.

Due to the adult content in this program, it is only open to attendees 18 years and older.

Red Snapper has been teaching striptease technique since 2007. Burlesque performer, nudist, costumer, and avid reader, Red is based in Los Angeles and hops around the country spreading the gospel of burlesque. She presented Conceal and Reveal: The Art and History of Burlesque at the GLAAM RG 2011. More info about Red can be found at Red Snapper Burlesque.

Pub Crawl, Friday, 8:00pm with Danielle Hanne and Hilary Foster

We will head over to Ventura Blvd. to check out some of the interesting spots nearby. Van transportation between the general Pub Crawl area and the Marriott will be available and crawlers will have a planned order of stops … but once the Crawl departs there is no set time at each stop!

Readings from a New Musical with the Original Cast

Enjoy a staged reading of scenes with the cast from Thank You, Minerva: What Makes America Great? Book and original music and lyrics by Alan Stillson, copyright 2011.

The Roman Goddess Minerva inspires writers to make America a better country by creating signature songs for its holidays. How and why does she do this?

Thank You, Minerva is scheduled to open at the Secret Rose Theatre in North Hollywood on July 12, 2013 for six weeks (Friday and Saturday evenings and a Sunday matinee.) Tickets will be available through Stillsonworks.

Thank You, Minerva features a combination of original, public domain and copyrighted songs. All copyrighted songs are used under synchronization licenses with written permission of the copyright owners.


Tequila Tasting: $12
We enjoyed this so much three years ago, we thought it would be fun to take another look at the fun that is Tequila!! We enjoy this opportunity to explore the variety and differences in tequila in its more common forms as well as the premium varieties. Tequila lovers will enjoy our sojourn through a brief history of tequila, experiencing a small sample of its different kinds, the related mezcal options, and some of the unique tequila liquors! If you are not that familiar with tequila, then consider this an opportunity to explore the more interesting aspects of this southern California favorite!

Rum Tasting: $12
This tasty spirit enjoys a controversial history with its associations to the economy and culture of the Caribbean, West Indies, and Latin America, and its part of the Triangle Trade. While we will take a brief look at the history, we are sure to have a rum time as we enjoy a few libations and taste the differences in a few premium rums. We will look at some of the varieties from light to dark and how the alcohol content can vary. If you are used to rum in mixed drinks, consider this an opportunity experience the rum more directly and consider how some of your favorite drink recipes might be enhanced or just indulge in the purity of the rum!

Cheese Tasting: $9 — Michael Wong
This year we are focusing on a number of fine and/or rare cheeses that are the presenter's personal favourite cheeses. Instead of comparing or contrasting similar cheeses as in the previous few years, which required the purchasing of many less-than-great cheeses, we are returning to the way we used to do cheese tastings: i.e., nothing but the BEST STUFF! The bulk of the cheese will still be French, and comprised solely of great/rare cheeses the presenter personally likes. (Disclaimer: some of the cheeses we will sample are very rich and high in fat content. Please be aware if you are not used to consuming large amounts of such foods.)

International Pastries & Confections: $9 — Madeline Walker
We will sample an assortment of at least half a dozen desserts from other countries, along with the stories of how they came to be. So far, I am looking at Italian, French, Cuban, German, English, a couple others I am not sure about yet, plus Doug's Canadian dessert he will make from scratch. Max. 24 attendees.

All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt! ~Charles Schulz

Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold. ~Judith Olney

Don't wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty. ~Lora Brody

After eating chocolate you feel godlike, as though you can conquer enemies, lead armies, entice lovers. ~Emily Luchetti

— from The Quote Garden —

Ethnic Chips Tasting: $5 — Michael Wong
The popular ethnic chips tasting is back! Have you ever wondered what potato chips and junk food from other cultures taste like? Come join us and try some of the more exotic flavours with an emphasis on Asian flavours. Some of the exotic flavours we will sample include curry, seaweed, beef, Asian BBQ, and teriyaki. I might even bring some home-made surprises if I can acquire the materials.

Van Tour to Griffith Observatory, Saturday, 9:00am

Griffith Observatory, an icon of Los Angeles, is located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood. It is 1,134 feet above sea level and is visible from many parts of Los Angeles.

“The mission of Griffith Observatory is inspiring everyone to observe, ponder, and understand the sky.”

Leaving the RG on Saturday at 9:00am, those who wish may purchase tickets to the Samuel Oschin Planetarium show at 10:45 (adults $7). The main floor features the Foucault Pendulum and several rooms of exhibits. The lower levels (added in 2006) include a “cosmic connection” walkway, space exhibits, the Leonard Nimoy Theater, the gift shop and the “Café at the End of the Universe.” On a clear day, the rooftop has spectacular views of Los Angeles. If there is a special space event, the observatory telescopes might be open. We will return to the hotel in time for lunch.

The Observatory has been featured in several movies (Rebel Without a Cause) and TV shows (Keeping Up with the Kardashians … well, that does show the Observatory regularly!). Seating is limited. There is a fee of $5.00 per person to cover van costs.

Please note: at this time, the Van Tour is full, and any new registrants will be placed on a waiting list. If you're on a waiting list and a seat doesn't open up, your payment will be refunded at the RG.