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.