Schedule of Events for the 2013 RG

Orange County Mensa 2013 Regional Gathering


Your “Itinerary”

This was the Schedule of Events for the RG.

All Weekend

Our World-Class Hospitality Suite – Relax and visit with friends as you nosh on international food and drink. Tapas-style appetizers (small plates) will be served Friday evening, Saturday mid-day,and Sunday mid-day in Hospitality (included in your Registration Fee). And, of course, we will have plenty of the favorite food of Mensans, chocolate!

Games Room – A variety of board games will be available – some games will be scheduled; others will form spontaneously.

Speakers and Workshops

Keynote Speakers

Saturday Dinner SpeakerGaddi Vasquez, former Director of the Peace Corps and former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome, Italy.

Sunday Before-Dinner Speaker (4:00 PM)Why Smart People Hurt.   Eric Maisel, PhD, author of more than 40 books in the areas of creativity and mental health, will discuss the special challenges and pressures of bright people.

Monday Luncheon SpeakerGary Warner, the award-winning Travel Editor of the Orange County Register since 1994.


Friday, August 30

8:00  – 9:00 AMBreakfast with the Chair and Orientation to the RG – Flora/Santa Fe Restaurant – (For those who are staying at the hotel on Thursday night, breakfast is included.) Let’s all get together over breakfast to socialize and get oriented to the highlights of this RG. After all, you don’t want to miss anything this weekend! After breakfast, you can go sightseeing, relax around the pool, or help with the RG set-up.


2:00 PM – Registration Opens.

2:00 PM –  Midnight – Hospitality and the Games Room will be open.

3:30 PM –  Game: Wise and Otherwise – A game based on foreign language idioms and expressions.

5:00 PMCompetition: World Trivia – Test your knowledge of geography and other fun categories.

6:00 PMShort Story Writing Workshop – OC Mensan Terry Black will help you awaken the natural story-teller in you.

6:00 PMBake-Off AdCompetition: Mensalympics – Work in teams to build a tower out of the provided materials that doesn’t exceed the specified height. The first team to finish wins. But, will yours still be standing when the time is called?

7:00 PM – Bake-off Judging – Afterward, entries will be served in Hospitality.

7:00 PM – Competition: Spelling Challenge – Pit your spelling expertise against that of your fellow Mensans. Everyone gets to spell every word, since you’ll write the words on paper (unlike a Spelling Bee, when one person at a time spells each word out loud). Sum off thees wurds kan bee diabolicle!

7:00 PM – The Benevolent Dictatorship of Baja LasVegastan – The nation of Baja LasVegastan is not imaginary; it’s just small. (For those who need a translation, BLV is surrounded by San Clemente, CA, and celebrates its Independence Day each year with one of OCM’s most fun parties.) HMFIC (“Head Man, First In Charge”) Jim-Bob will discuss the history, geography, religion, economy, and political philosophy of the BLV. Singing! Dancing! Traditional costumes! Free visas at the international-frontier/doorway!

8:00 PMAsk the Doctor – This is your opportunity to ask questions and receive candid answers about your health concerns, the latest trends in medicine, and disease prevention.

8:00 PMGame: Taboo – The word-guessing game that will get everyone laughing.

9:00PMMelnac the Magnificent – What word or phrase will he predict will answer the question that is in the sealed envelope?

9:00 PM – The Reform Club – Randy’s Liquor Tasting, featuring drinks of the 1860’s and 1870’s. Step into the world of the private upper class British club. Relax in an environment similar to that when the fictional Phileas Fogg made his infamous bet with the members of the Reform Club and embarked on his trip Around the World in 80 Days. (Adults only).

10:00 PM Competition: Carnelli – It’s the Mensa-created game of quick thinking and associations. For those who are new to Carnelli … it begins with a book, play, movie, or song title. The next person must name another work with the same word in the title, or the same creator, character name, actor. etc.


Saturday, August 31

8:00 AM – Registration Opens.

8:00 AM – 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM – Midnight – Hospitality and the Games Room open (closed from 6:30 – 8:30 PM during dinner).

9:00 AM – Sudoku Tournament

10:15 AM – Caution: Funny Sign Ahead – Have you ever been on the open road and seen a sign that made you laugh out loud? This presentation features photos of road signs, billboards, and truck stop advertisements from throughout Americana and around the world that are accidentally hysterically funny. Be prepared to laugh your socks (or your sandals) off!

10:15 AM – Origami Class – Learn the Japanese art of paper folding. All materials will be provided.

11:30 AM – It’s not just Blood and Floods: Around the World with the Red Cross – Mensan Kit Hope has literally been around the world in her thirty-year career with the American Red Cross. Come and learn things you didn’t know about an omnipresent organization many Americans take for granted.

11:30 AM – Google Earth Workshop – Learn little-known features of Google Earth and how to combine Google Earth maps and other internet resources to create a virtual “tour” to document your travels or your family ancestry.

1:00 PM – The Forbidden City – Take an armchair tour of the Chinese imperial palace located in Beijing, China, home of emperors and their households for 500 years.

1:00 PM Lederer on Language – Longtime Mensa Bulletin language columnist Richard Lederer, author of more than 40 books on language, humor, and history, will celebrate with you a number of important anniversaries, including the 150th of the Gettysburg Address and the 100th of the crossword puzzle.

2:15 PM – Around the World in 80 Ways – A lifelong tourist shares tips and tricks for pleasurable travel. You will learn how to choose a destination, how to plan your itinerary, what to pack, ways to travel on a budget, and perhaps most important, how to take travel photos that your friends and relatives will actually look forward to seeing.

2:15 PM – A New Space ArchitectureFellow Mensan and veteran Aerospace Engineer Chet Richards will share with us his ideas for making space flights much less expensive, which could result in the exponential growth of manned space travel.

3:30 PMRVC Rap Session

3:30 PM – Competition: Treasure Hunt – You and your team work together in this combination of puzzle solving and scavenger hunt. A totally Mensan activity!

3:30 PM – Mexican Celebrations and Customs – Learn about the culture of our neighbors South of the Border. Then, join us for a Pinata party!

4:30 PM– Game: Scattergories – The creative-thinking category-based word game.

4:30 PM Celebrate the Tropics:  Mai Tais (both leaded and unleaded varieties)

5:00 PMOCM Bylaws Discussion and Q & A (Interested members can attend this session even if not attending the RG).Travel photos Ad_Aug


6:30 – 8:30 PM – Hospitality and Games Room are closed during dinner.

6:30 PM – Cocktails (cash bar) while gathering for dinner.

7:00 PM – “Around the World” All-You-Can-Eat Dinner Buffet – Includes Japanese Teriyaki Beef, Swiss Chicken Cordon Bleu, and Mexican Spinach & Cheese Enchiladas, rice pilaf, Santa Fe salad, honey glazed carrots, dessert. (Deadline for ordering; Thurs, 8/29.)

8:15 PM – Saturday Dinner SpeakerGaddi Vasquez, former Director of the Peace Corps (2002 – 2006) and former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome, Italy (2006 – 2009). Under his leadership, the Peace Corps realized the highest enrollment of volunteers in the field in 30 years. He also led the opening of the first Peace Corps in Mexico and directed the entry or re-entry into 21 Peace Corps countries.

9:15 PM – Entertainment: Zhena Folk Chorus  – The hauntingly beautiful and stirring folk music of Eastern Europe performed in full, authentic costume.

10:00 PM Competition: Carnelli – Just in case you didn’t get your fill on Friday night.

Sunday, September 1

8:00 AM – Registration opens.

8:00 AM – 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM – Midnight – Hospitality and the Games Room are open (closed from 6:00 – 8:00 PM during dinner).

9:00 AM – ADHD — A Disorder of the Gifted Community? – Have you noticed that you seem to know a disproportionate number of people with ADHD, whether diagnosed or not? OCM member Martha Burge, MA, will present a compelling view of why ADD/ADHD, anxiety, intense emotions and creativity are often found in the gifted community.

10:15 AM – The Juno Mission: Jupiter, Earth, and the Quest for Origins – Our speaker, who is a scientist from JPL/NASA will tell us about the Juno spacecraft, currently making its way to Jupiter, which will for the first time peer below Jupiter’s dense cover of clouds to answer questions about the gas giant and the origins of our solar system.

10:15 AMTarot – For Fun and Insight – You don’t need to buy into the fortune telling aspect to use the Tarot decks to break out of stale thought patterns. Our speaker will demonstrate the very 21st century Voyager deck.

Noon – Liar’s Club – Panel members give their identifications of objects or photos. Can you tell who’s telling the truth and who is making it all up?

Noon – Belly Dancing Workshop – This exotic ethnic dance is also great exercise. Learn how to do it in this fun class.

Noon – Game: Catch Phrase – A fast-moving team word game that is a combination of Taboo and Hot Potato.

1:15 PM – Poker Around the World – Learn the basics of Texas Hold’em, then discuss strategies, poker jargon, famous players, on-line poker scandals, poker in other countries and more.

1:15 PM – Travel Journal Workshop – A hands-on workshop in which you will learn how to create a journal of your travels… as you travel… that also showcases mementos of your trip.

1:15 PM – Game: David and Goliath – The card game where size doesn’t matter. Who will win the battle of strength and wits?

2:30 PM – Random Hops Through the World of Beer — Beer Tasting (adults only)

2:30 PM – How to Work with Others on Committees — Have you been assigned to lead or be a member of a committee? Learn how to get along with other personalities and leverage your own strengths as well as the strengths of your fellow committee members. You can use these skills to help work with others in Mensa, in the work environment, or in other organizations.

2:30 PM – Competition: So You Want to Be a Mensa Millionaire – Do you want to have fun and show off your smarts by competing in a contest of trivia and not-so-trivial knowledge? Of course you do! (Is that your final answer?) Based on the popular TV game show, each contestant will answer multiple choice questions of increasing difficulty.

4:00 PM – Sunday’s Keynote Speaker (4:00 PM)Why Smart People Hurt. Eric Maisel, PhD, author of more than 40 books on a variety of subjects, including Creativity, Writing, Psychology, Brainstorming, and several novels, will discuss his latest book.

5:00 PM – Snacking Around the World – How many odd and unusual foreign snack foods can you identify?

5:15 PMAsk the Sexologist (Adults only) – This is an open forum question and answer session covering all aspects of human sexuality.


Wear an Ethnic Costume  – Celebrate your ethnic heritage or dress to represent a country you’ve visited or would like to visit. (If you choose not to wear a costume… no worries… come as your all-American self!)

6:00 – 8:00 PM – Hospitality and Games Room are closed during dinner.

6:00 PMDinner Entertainment: Francisco Leon Trio – South American music.

6:30 PM – “A Taste of Italy” All-You-Can-Eat Dinner Buffet – Includes Italian Meatballs, Chicken Marsala, Vegetarian Lasagna, penne pasta, Caesar salad, green beans, dessert. (Deadline for ordering; Thurs, 8/29.)

8:00 PM – Greek Dancing – No experience necessary! We’ll learn the steps as we dance. Always loads of fun, whether you participate or observe.


Monday, September 2

8:00 AM – 2:00 PM – Hospitality and the Games Room open.

11:00 AM – Begin gathering for the luncheon.

11:30 AMLuncheon Entertainment: Octoberfest… in September — Musician Linda Herman… lively German polkas and popular American favorites.

11:30 AM – “Getting Away” Luncheon – Choice of Chicken Piccata with roasted potatoes or vegetarian Pasta Primavera, mixed green salad, mixed vegetables, dessert. (Deadline for ordering; Thurs, 8/29.)

12:30 PM – Treasure Chest Prize Drawing!  Earn MensaBucks throughout the weekend that you can use as entries in our raffle to win cool prizes.

1:00 PM – Luncheon SpeakerGary Warner, the award-winning Travel Editor of the Orange County Register, describes himself as “just a guy who gets to travel a lot, make some wonderful discoveries and awful mistakes, then come home and write about it.” He has visited 40 countries and all 50 states. As our Monday keynote speaker, Warner will share some of his travel experiences, give travel tips, and answer your questions about writing travel articles and how to get published.

2:00 PMThe Penultimate Ending of the RG. Hospitality and the Games Room close.

3:00 PMJourney’s End Party. Meet in the hotel restaurant (Flora/Santa Fe).

4:00 PMUltimate Ending of the RG. It’s now been 80 hours since we first met for breakfast on Friday.  Meet in the hotel restaurant (Flora/Santa Fe) and raise a glass to a fun and successful RG!