StaRGazing 2015 Events


Friday Night
Pub Crawl by the Beach hosted by Hilary Foster and Danielle Hanne

Pub Crawl

We will head over to the nearby beach towns to check out some of the interesting spots. Van transportation between the general Pub Crawl area and The Concourse Hotel 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!

Friday Night
Beatnik Coffeehouse hosted by Alan Stillson

Alan Stillson

The Beatnik Coffeehouse is on again this year! It's open mike and everybody is welcome to do their thing. Do a little stand-up comedy, recite your favorite poem, sing your favorite song, etc. No guitar or keyboard? No problem, both instruments will be there and I'll be happy to try to provide live accompaniment to anyone who wants it. Just want to listen? That's fine, too. Relive the memories of Greenwich Village in the 1950s and 1960s.

Saturday Morning
Van Tour to the J Paul Getty Museum

Getty Center

The Getty Center, a dramatic hilltop campus designed by Richard Meier, opened in 1997. The J. Paul Getty Trust pursues its mission with the conviction that a greater and more profound sensitivity to and knowledge of the visual arts and their many histories are crucial to the promotion of a vital and civil society. Take a tram up a huge hill, enter the perfectly simple, calming space, stroll around the gardens – and maybe even see some paintings. Van seating is limited. We will add names to a waitlist for those who pay the registration fee. Meet outside at the van Saturday by 9:00 am. If you are on the waitlist and at the van but not offered a space, your payment will be returned to you. Fee is $5.

Saturday Night
Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, by Christopher Durang . . . starring Ed You

Ed You

Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, by Christopher Durang . . .
(Last year, Ed used 3 minutes from this play, dressed as a nun, to help him win the title of Mr. Mensa 2014. Now he's doing the whole play.) Sister gives a class to the audience, explaining the intricacies of Catholic doctrine. This hilarious satire is so brilliantly insightful, so wickedly funny, as it lampoons Catholicism, that it was officially banned by the church. So if you're easily offended, please don't attend. If you're not, get there early for a good seat. Originally, it ran for 2-3 years, simultaneously, in both NYC and LA. Time permitting, it will be followed by a question and answer session.

The ideas and opinions of this show are not officially shared or endorsed by American Mensa.

Saturday Night
Cocktail Party with DJ Soleil

Cocktail Party

Enjoy a mix of current tunes and golden oldies in an intimate, elegant ballroom. Dance floor provided for those who want to strut their stuff. Cash bar also provided.

Sunday Morning
Champagne Brunch in the Penthouse Ballroom

Top of the Radisson

Our Champagne Brunch will take place Sunday morning, February 15 in the beautiful Penthouse Ballroom with a spectacular panoramic view of Los Angeles International Airport and the surrounding city. Champagne poured throughout the Brunch.

Fluffy scrambled eggs, scrambled egg whites with spinach and mushroom, grilled honey-baked ham, crispy bacon, turkey sausage, home-style potatoes, fresh fruit, sliced tomatoes, cold cereals with 2% and whole milk (soy, almond or rice milk also provided), chilled juices, assorted breakfast pastries, breads and donuts, Starbucks® regular & decaf coffee and herbal teas.

Price: $39 per person. You can sign up on your registration form or register online at Please indicate on the form or in the comments section online if you've already registered for the RG. You can also pay at the registration desk if seating is still available, but seating is limited. All brunch reservations must be made by Noon on Saturday, February 14.

Entertainment by singer/songwriter Madeline Mann

Madeline Mann

Madeline Mann is a young singer-songwriter hailing from Santa Monica, CA. Her music is a light-hearted mix of folk and pop, with catchy melodies and playful lyrics. Her most notable song, Hot Guys with Four Eyes, has appeared on more than two dozen geek and gamer websites — landing her a geeky following. By day, Madeline is a graduate student at USC earning her Master's in Applied Psychology who plays ukulele between classes.

Sunday Afternoon
Family Feud hosted by Ed You

Ed You

Teams of four Mensans will play StaRGazing 2015's own version of the perennial hit TV game show. Questions were posed to Mensans about subjects near and dear to their hearts. Form your own team prior to the show or find teammates in the audience. Teams will rotate often so teams will have more than one chance to win the tournament. If you don't want to play, enjoy the fun and games from the audience.

Jana Bickel formulated the questions and distributed them to Region 9 Mensa members to get our What did the survey say? answers for this event.

Sunday Afternoon
The Amazing Wizard of Paws: The Magic is inside of you!
See this new movie at the GLAAM RG 2015!
Watch the official theatrical trailer to the film:

Bryan Michael Stoller

What happens when you find out the family dog is actually six-hundred years old and was once owned by a great and powerful wizard? In this charming and magical adventure, young Bobby Spade and his faithful therapy dog, Ozzy, stumble upon an ancient wizard's mystical book of spells. The once shy boy and loveable canine are unprepared for what comes next as the two find themselves suddenly graced with extraordinary magical powers. Through this amazing miracle, Bobby is now inspired to become the world's most famous magician, accompanied by his enchanted talking dog Ozzy who inherits universal wisdom and is eager to share it.

Bryan Michael Stoller is an international award-winning filmmaker who has produced, written and directed over eighty productions that include short comedy films, half hour television, music videos, commercials and feature films. Bryan and his films have been featured on Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, Dateline NBC and in many newspapers and periodicals including The Los Angeles Times, Premiere Magazine, and People Magazine. His website is Bryan is also the author of Filmmaking for Dummies with foreword by Jerry Lewis and cover endorsement by Dan Aykroyd.

The canine star of this movie, Little Bear, was rescued and fostered by former First Lady Nancy Reagan. Little Bear also starred in the movie, First Dog in 2012, featuring original songs by Dolly Parton. First Dog was one of the top family rentals on REDBOX in summer of 2012, and went on to air on FOX syndication on Easter Sunday 2014.

Sunday Night
Keynote Address: Keeping America Secure: Operations of the Los Angeles Air Force Base by Colonel Janet W. Grondin

Colonel Janet W. Grondin

Do you know that the Los Angeles Air Force Base is approximately two miles south of LAX? Our keynote speaker, Colonel Janet W. Grondin, will introduce us to the functions of the LA AFB, some of the programs that she is in charge of, and the future of Space and Missile Systems Center.

Colonel Janet W. Grondin is the chief, Spacelift Range and Network System Division, assigned to the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB, Calif. She leads more than 1700 government and contractor personnel modernizing and sustaining the world-wide Air Force Satellite Control Network as well as the nation's Launch and Test Range System located at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. and Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla. As chief, she manages execution of the Spacelift Range System Contract, the Satellite Control Network Contract contract, and the LTRS Systems Engineering and Integration contract. She is responsible for developing the LTRS Integrated Support Contract and the Space Acquisition Training Office that facilitates standardized training systems for the space enterprise.

The keynote address is part of our plenary session which also includes the Awards presentation by committee chair Jonathan Elliott.

Sunday Night
Sunday Stand-Up, an Evening of Comedy hosted by Samantha Hale

Samantha Hale

Samantha Hale, filmmaker and stand-up comedian, is incredibly grateful to have had her first film premiere on the Documentary Channel, and is currently working on her second feature on the connection between music and love. When not working on her films, she is on the stage, having performed in such venues as The Hollywood Improv, Flappers, The San Francisco Regency Ballroom, and the World Famous Comedy Store among others. She is also proud to be Alan Hale's (The Skipper from Gilligan's Island) granddaughter.

Annabelle DeSisto is an IAP (Italian American Princess) originally from South Florida. She has worked on two of the top morning drive time radio shows in the country in both West Palm, FL and Seattle, WA. She performs at Flappers, The Comedy Store, The Improv, The Ice House and anywhere else that has good lighting. You can validate her by stalking her on Twitter @Annabelle417

Jessica Michelle Singleton has created a unique style of comedy based on true stories and interesting observations about growing up in an unconventional household in Alaska, peppered with a tiny bit of neuroses, a slightly distorted sense of reality and bit of an awkward obsession with human sexuality.

Born and raised in Tulsa, OK, Jacob Givens moved out to Los Angeles where he started doing stand-up comedy in 2011. Also a writer and actor, Jacob has several award-winning scripts under his belt as well as writing and starring in the comedy web series Good Cops and Tumbleweed, which landed him a partnership with the new media networking giant Machinima. Jacob has performed stand-up comedy at Zanies in Chicago, Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, and multiple comedy clubs in the Southern California area including Flappers, Ha Ha Cafe and the World Famous Comedy Store.

Amir Kalil is an original. His style of comedy involves romance, family, and racial humor. He is the only Black and Arab comic playing the guitar along with his jokes, like one of his main influences Demetri Martin. He first began comedy in his rock/funk comedy band The Sweet Sweet Laxatives in 2008. The group released the album Bombs Away that was labeled the most awesome album ever. The laughs continued as Amir began his solo stand-up career in Los Angeles, California. He is also a comedic actor and can be seen in Ashlei Shyne's No Happy Endings, HBO's Togetherness, and Ted 2.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Agostino Zoida began his comedy career at the age of 20. His stand-up is an interesting outlook on his own sitcom style life of being the youngest of four, with three older sisters in an all-Catholic Italian family, as well as being home schooled. You have seen him on seasons 1 and 2 of NuvoTV's Stand Up and Deliver, and is currently a writer for Louis C.K.'s Louie on FX.

Eric Alegria one of the fastest up and coming comedians out of Los Angeles. Comedy is his passion and once you see him on stage you'll know he was born to perform. The energy he gives off on stage is infectious. Engaging the audience and making them a part of he's jokes is what he does best. Eric shares his experience of growing up on Chicago's west side in a predominantly Italian neighborhood being that he is of Mexican decent his experiences are clearly unique. Eric is a favorite in rooms all over LA always giving his best at every show. Eric can be seen touring the country with Jeff Garcia and stay tuned to for up-coming dates.

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


Annual Business Meeting

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.

Food Sale

Sale of unused food items and paper goods will begin at approximately 10:00 am Monday in Hospitality and/or the StaRGazers' Lounge. Please bring cash. If you are interested in anything in particular, please notify Hospitality Chair Lee Stillman onsite as soon as possible. Great bargains!

Friday Night Flicks: Connie and Carla

Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, Little Miss Sunshine) play friends whose co-obsession with careers in musical theater have gone nowhere. After accidentally witnessing a mafia hit, they go to a quiet place "with no culture at all" and wind up posing as drag queens at a gay nightclub. Their variety show becomes a hit. Eventually their popularity threatens to expose them. Connie and Carla is full of music, comedy, and even romance.

Games in our dedicated Game Room

Visit our Games page for much more information.

Generation X/Y Meet & Greet

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 Hilary Foster at the Meet & Greet and get to know other (relatively) young Ms before we head out on the Pub Crawl!

GLAAM Awards

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. 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.

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.

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.

Memories Meetup

A meet and greet for our venerable GLAAM members to talk about the good old days, good times, past RGs and fond memories.

Mensa Testing

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

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

Saturday Night Fishbowl

A free-wheeling, non-judgmental forum where you can anonymously ask those questions you have always wanted to ask of members of the other sex – and actually get some answers! There are sure to be many laughs and maybe a few revelations. This event will start on time, and no one may join the group late or leave the group and reenter. All discussion in Fishbowl stays in Fishbowl. No one under 18 is allowed in Fishbowl. Fishbowl will be moderated by Mary Hughes and Lee Stillman.

Speed Meet & Greet

Here's your opportunity to meet other Mensans and make new friends. You get a few minutes in a chair across from one new friend, and then move to the next chair to meet another new friend. After this hour, you may want to spend time in Hospitality gabbing with your new-found friends. Ice-breaking questions will be available.

StaRGazers' Lounge

Enjoy wine and a variety of beers along with pleasant conversation in our StaRGazers' Lounge held in the beautiful Presidential Suite on the third floor. And enjoy the small, refreshing sauna within the suite (appropriate clothing required). Note: This is on a guest room floor, so please keep the conversation at a reasonable volume. Hours and available seating due to space may be limited.


International Dessert Tasting: $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 Dutch, Mexican, Italian, French, a couple others I am not sure about yet, plus Doug's Canadian dessert he will make from scratch. Max. 24 attendees.

Cheese Tasting — A Foray through Fabulous Fromage!: $10 — Desiree Elliott
Join us this year as we indulge in our love for superior cheeses culled from the premier specialty stores throughout Los Angeles. We will focus this year on balancing the offerings to help provide greater resources and ideas for creating cheese plates when indulging while out or entertaining.

Alcohol Tasting — The Cheap Stuff: High Quality, Low Price: $12 — Bryan K Willis
Have you ever seen some booze made with some crazy thing or another and wondered, Wow, that sure is something! I sure wish somebody would tell me about this booze, and maybe even let me have a taste of said booze!? Well, mi amigo, color yourself lucky, because I am here to lay down the boozy goodness! There are more unique alcoholic beverages out there than a dog has fleas, and I am going to bring some for this event! You may love some, you may hate some, but if you drink enough of these, you won't care! What will I bring? Something made some some crazy fruit? Booze made out of a rare ingredient? I ain't tellin', pal! Could be some beers, could be some wines, could be some spirits, could be all three and more! You want to find out, then you get a ticket to the tasting and find out with the rest of 'em! Now, if you'll excuse me, I gotta go see a guy about procuring some bottles…


Post-RG Tours

Graves of the Stars — Tour of Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City hosted by Linda Kime

Many famous Hollywood movie and television stars are interred just a few minutes away from the site of this year's RG. See the graves of celebrities such as Bing Crosby, Bela Lugosi, Sharon Tate, Rosalind Russell, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, John Candy, Fred MacMurray, Richard Egan, Rita Hayworth and Jimmy Durante. Host Linda Kime will impart interesting trivia about the stars as you tour the location. This event takes place just as the RG ends on Monday. Please sign up at Registration table during the weekend and then meet there on Monday at the time indicated on the Registration sheet. Participants will drive their own vehicles with carpooling possible and meet up at the cemetery entrance. See Linda at the Registration table on Monday for more details.

Cruise to Catalina and Ensenada!

Rita Law

As the GLAAM RG ends on Monday, head for Long Beach to board the Carnival ship Inspiration for a 4-day cruise to Catalina and Ensenada.

Board on Monday, 2/16, between 1:00 and 4:00 pm for the 5:30 pm departure. On Tuesday, take a tender to Catalina Island for a day of sight-seeing in Avalon. Tuesday evening and Wednesday are spent at sea, with plenty of fun activities on the ship. Thursday is spent in Ensenada, Mexico (passport will be needed.) By Friday morning you return to disembark in Long Beach.

Prices run from approximately $672 to $890 (plus taxes, resort fees, etc.), depending on where your cabin is (interior or exterior; upper or lower decks; midship, fore or aft), number of occupants, whether you choose a particular cabin or leave the location up to the cruise line, and how early you make the reservation. Deposit is only $150.00 per person, with final payment due 12/18/2014 ***prices are subject to change without a deposit ****

Contact: Maurice Arneaud, Personal Vacation Planner
Carnival Cruise Lines | 3655 NW 87th Avenue | Miami, FL 33178
Office: 800.819.3902 Ext. 82351 | cell: 954.865.4155 | fax: 305.406.8455

This is not a Mensa activity. It is offered as a separate option for those who want to extend your time and activities beyond the GLAAM RG. All dealings with Carnival Cruise Lines are at your own risk. For questions, please contact the representative of Carnival Cruise Lines directly.

Thank you Rita Law for this suggestion, and Bon Voyage!