10 Questions with Apologies to Bernard Pivot & James Lipton

Hope y’all had some fun over the holiday. This month’s respondent is Ned Raggett, the ZSFG Library’s User Services guy and pretty much jack of all trades. Great to have a ZSFG’er up for a little 10 Questions fun!

Q: Where were you born?
A: Bremerton, Washington, which is across Puget Sound from Seattle. My dad was in the Navy and there’s a big submarine base there. But he got transferred to San Diego a few weeks after I was born, and I’ve only ever been to Bremerton twice since on short day visits while visiting Seattle. (Side note: if you’d like to know more about me, my dad and the Navy, enjoy – this is from 1982, and this is a real TV clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAQPcq5R-m8 )

Q: What was your favorite subject in school?
A: English/English lit, easy. Always been a pretty active reader and so I gravitated towards those classes which I liked. (This somehow led me to reading things like Thomas Pynchon in 11th grade – as a formal class assignment!) Both my BA and MA are in English lit.

Q: What was your least favorite subject in school?
A: Phys ed. Sorry, NOT my favorite or strong point. I did end up being the referee for a lot of games, though, so that was a nice way to do something without doing something. Pretty much any kind of organized group exercise/gym thing is not my cup of tea; I prefer solitary exercise or something like a walk or hike with a small group of friends.

Q: What was your first job?
A: High school, 1988…page at the local public library, where I spent a lot of my free time anyway. So you could say my course was set from the start.

Q: What is your favorite sound?
A: Reflective silence, conversation with my partner Kate, family or friends, dogs and/or babies having a good time in the local park or really, really good music. That particular list goes on.

Q: What is your least favorite sound?
A: Really, really bad music. And that list also goes on.

Q: What did you say the last time you stubbed your toe?
A: Something annoyed, under my breath and likely unprintable.

Q: What profession other than your own would you most like to attempt?
A: I’ve already attempted it, I think! My ‘other’ life professionally is as a freelance writer on music, which I’ve done in one form or another since around 1992. I have been published by Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, NPR, the Guardian and a wide variety of other publications, including (locally) the SF Chronicle, KQED Arts and the SF Weekly. If there was real security in this work I might have considered it full time when I was younger, but some experienced writers laid out good truths to me at the time and I preferred to have it be a side pursuit.

Q: What food couldn’t you live without?
A: If I could only pick one: cheese. The tangier or more flavorful the better.

Q: Where in the world would you most like to visit, but have never been?
A: Right now, Iceland – I’ve been lucky to get to places I have wanted to visit too (New Zealand, the UK, Italy and elsewhere), but Iceland has long intrigued me, and one day I’ll get that chance.

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