Evolution from a Hotel Room to a Dance Club in 7ish Parties
By Our Beloved Mixmeister Gina
So, one might ask themselves, how did these dorky parties start anyway? Good question!!! Way back when, in the summer of '98 (and there has been a party at every AAS meeting since), Gina and Hogg met each other at the 192nd meeting of our beloved Society - in San Diego. One should note that there were many other people involved in their meeting. But maybe the most important thing that one should note was that Gina figured out how to end up with a room that would accommodate many, many (many) people enjoying cocktails on her balcony.
Gina had just become Education Specialist for our Society, and Hogg had just earned his PhD from CalTech, where, by the by, Bill Nye the Science Guy (one of Gina's idols) had given the Key Note speech (and, oh, yes, Gina was very, VERY, jealous).
So, now many people had gathered on the balcony of Gina's room - for many a night - and, so now, Hogg and Gina felt like they had to "rise to the occasion." It was Banquet Night for the AAS, and all of the previous nights balcony-goers wanted to know what they would do after the banquet. Hogg and Gina had this "brilliant idea" that they should all gather at the suite of Andrea Ghez, the awardee of the Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in Astronomy. Andrea was very sweet, and accommodating, and they had promised her they would bring their own cocktails (martinis) - and two glasses per person. Many, many people showed up - much to her dismay (or too her demise). But history had begun...
At the 193rd meeting of our beloved Society (in Austin), Hogg planned an evening out. Gina was voted as bringing the favored party guest - Carl Heiles - who well, we won't say why, but it did make him the Favored Party Guest... In addition, David Helfand came! They did feel like they were reaching ignominious fame...
It was at this meeting that Gina and Hogg vowed to never miss an AAS meeting until "they died." And, in And, in addition, that they would host a cocktail party at every future meeting "until they died" (and to always attend the banquet beforehand). These parties always took place in one of their hotel rooms (with a featured cocktail) - until they got so large that a little (or large) hotel room could never accommodate all of the guests (For those of us who can remember, reflect on the 197th meeting in San Diego, and Neil Tyson will let you know this is true). In addition, and frankly, they just got tired of dealing with hotel security.
So, to deal with the number of astronomers who just wanted to get their freak on - on the dance floor (and, who knew?) - Gina and Hogg (and their ever-growing Production Staff - please give a special shout out to Just Jake, Stage Manager Keivan, Graphical Design Diva Emilie, the Out of the Rain Production Staff, and our die-hard Party Schloggers, Ed, Nathan, Sara, and Alyson) figured out how to get dance clubs to allow a bunch of geeky astronomers to take over their space.
Gina and Hogg may not have actually been able to attend to their vow (creating and attending a party at every meeting until they die), but they would like to think that they have recruited a number of people who would help them fulfill it. Thank you to all of the Out of the Rain Production Staff and all of our Party Schlogger Crew!!!! They couldn't have made this dream come true without you!!!!
When making your meeting plans, please know that our party will always be the night of the banquette. Please also know that our party will be late enough, on the night of the banquet, that we can encourage all of you to attend it - the banquet. We strongly believe that we should all attend this time-honored function of our Society. We love our Society, and this is just one way in which we can all show our support.
In addition, we would like to believe that our efforts are (in some small part):
Changing the face of astronomy one cocktail at a time...
Your Out of the Rain Production Staff and Crew:
PS. For those of us who didn't want to actually do any math, from the creation of our first party (summer '98) until the creation of this Back to the Future (spring '06), we have hosted 16 semi-annual parties (not including what Out of the Rain Productions is now hosting at meetings of the ASP). We have gone from 15 friends in Gina's hotel room to 800 party-goers in DC. Thank you to everyone - especially Arlo!!