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FBLA 20 Questions: Randi Schmelzer

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PR Week’s Los Angeles bureau chief, Randi Schmelzer, somehow managed to find the time to answer our notorious questions. When not keeping her finger on the pulse of the world of public relations, Randi enjoys long walks on the beach, trying out new restaurants, and puppy wrestling. Turn-offs: mean people.

1. What newspapers do you read?
Los Angeles Times, LA Business Journal, New York Times, and parts of the Wall Street Journal, L.A. Daily News and NY Post. And the Cleveland Jewish News, so I know exactly whose bris, shower, wedding or funeral my parents have recently attended and feel the need to discuss at length.

2. Which ones do you move your lips to while reading? The Cleveland Jewish News, always. Passages like, “How else to celebrate the milestone 70th birthday of Mort Weisberg, well-known nursing-home mogul, than with a festive party?” were positively written for reading aloud.

3. Which Web sites are on your favorites bookmark?
PRWeek.com aside, way too many: MB’s FishBowlLA and AgencySpy, LA Observed, Gridskipper, Ray Richmond’s Past Deadline and Virginia Heffernan’s Screens blogs, Radar Online, Failure mag, BlatherWatch, Egotastic, RoadFood.com … and my very favorite, Snopes.

4. Where do you get your car washed?
I try to mix it up as much as possible, because I like to see what sorts of one-of-kind treasures are available in each facility’s attached gift shop. (Any suggestions?)

5. Do you know your dentist’s first name? I do know his first name, but how could I not? Aren’t all dentists supposed to have a wall in the waiting room labeled with huge, cardboard cut-out letters reading, “Dr. Dan’s Zero-Cavity Club”? Or whatever his/her first name is. Underneath, there are those Polaroid snapshots of grinning patients cuddling an oversized stuffed tooth. Maybe it’s just my dentists.


6. Do you believe newspapers are going to die? If so, when? I don’t think they’re going to die. They’re changing, and will continue to change. But there is still a place for a physical paper, something that can be held in your hands and read on while drinking coffee, or riding the train. And doing the crossword/Sudoko from a computer print-out is not the same as doing it on a folded piece of newsprint.

7. What was the last book you read? Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert

8. What’s the last book you say you read? Fortunately, no one’s asked until now. I’ll have to read something else quick, before I’m asked again.

9. If you got a unicorn what would you name it? Uncle Eugene

10. What does your TiVo think about you? I don’t have a TiVo, mostly because I’m afraid it would think I was fat.

11. character of fiction you most resemble? My mother says I’m like the lead character in Shopgirl,”when she doesn’t take her medication. Really, I’m like Vera Perl, the dysfunctional-but-endearing tabloid journalist in Francine Prose’s Bigfoot Dreams.

12. Who plays you in your bio-pic? I’d like to say Jennifer Jason Leigh, or maybe even Maggie Gyllenhaal. But a Witness-era Kelly McGillis is more likely.

13. Do you floss? Like The Notorious B.I.G., on the cover of Fortune? I have no idea what that means.

14. Did you ever believe your toys come alive when you leave the room? Oh yes. Led by my fearless and matted stuffed lion cub, Prince Dandy.
Do you still? They probably wonder the same thing about me. If any of them do come to life, though, it’s got to be the seductive Asian woman on the Mastermind box: She’s freaked me out for decades.

15. How many old cell phones do you own? None. I took them to one of those “U sell it on eBay” stores, and they did so. I made about $30. (They got twice that much.)

16. Best show legendary biz/movie star encounter. Tim Curry, at the Worst Rite Aid in the Universe. The pharmacy had just screwed up both of our prescriptions and was in no rush to make things right. Clearly, these people did not know with whom they were dealing.

17. Do you get satellite radio?
Not yet — I’m kind of a commercial terrestrial-radio purest, I just love it.

18. And as a follow do you “get” satellite radio?
I do “get” it, especially on the way to Palm Springs, when the only radio format that picks up is Christian country or “the music of your life,” the latter targeting an audience that uses the word “life” rather loosely these days.

19. Do you read the Enquirer/InTouch/US/People? I don’t buy them all every week, but I read them, and will usually pick up one or two; the Enquirer’s my favorite. The others I flip through at the store.

20. Do you lie about it?
No way! I’m proud to be a celeb mag-reader. I’m helping to keep fellow journalists employed, and attempt to satiate American’s hunger for pop-culture news. Nothing wrong with that.

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