Saturday, December 23, 2017

                                                                                                December 2017

Dear Family and Friends,

            From our family to you and yours, we wish you a happy holiday season, whatever your faith, whatever your traditions, whatever your politics. But it cannot be denied that this is not a happy time for many of us here in Washington and not a happy time for our great country or for millions of people in many other troubled countries around the world.

            In brief, the adult Jost-White children are both happily married, and they and their spouses are all advancing in their careers. Ken continues to write Supreme Court Yearbook (CQ Press), now in his 26th term, and to write weekly columns for his blog, Jost on Justice, about to start its tenth year. James marked his 20th year in the world of IT consulting at Total Resource Management.

            Nicole and her wife Lily Rea are in the third year of Nicole's three-year master's program in playwriting at San Francisco State. Nicole's play The Terror Fantastic, in development for several years now, was produced in a two-week run at Minneapolis's 20% Theater: Ken was there for opening night; Katie and the rest of the White family attended the next night. In San Francisco, Lily continues to gather experience as a theater techie, helping produce audio and video for the Jewish Community Center. They live in Hayes Valley, with their cat Molly.

            Andrew (AJ) and Robbie Rogart Jost celebrated their first anniversary in September, five months after taking on a mortgage for a three-level home in the close-in DC suburb of Arlington, Va. AJ continues as an investment analyst with Clark Enterprises, with increased responsibilities in his second year in that position. Robbie was just promoted to counsel in her sixth year with the Washington office of Crowell & Moring. And they have a new puppy: a golden retriever they named Henry and dressed in Washington Nationals gear as the baseball season came to a disappointing end.
            Ken wrapped up Supreme Court Yearbook for the mostly boring 2016 term with Justice Gorsuch's confirmation and the end-of-term challenge to President Trump's Muslim travel ban. The 2017 term opened with a goodly number of high-profile cases. On Jost for Justice, Ken has criticized several Trump administration policies, such as his judicial appointments, and laid out the case for impeachment in a pair of columns in November. He also contributed a review of two recent impeachment books for the online Washington Independent Review of Books.

            Ken and James traveled to San Francisco in September for a sad occasion: services for Ken's former reporter, Philip Carrizosa, who died from complications following a long-awaited liver transplant.. Ken traveled to Italy and Sweden on his own in August; James went to Taiwan on his own in November to spend time with his aging parents. His father, now housebound, is weaker but in good spirits; both parents were glad to have James there for two weeks. James also uses various modern technologies to talk or "visit" on a weekly basis. On tap for us, an African safari in February.

            We closed a year ago with wishes for greater tolerance and compassion; those hopes have not been realized. Americans are more divided than perhaps at any time in our history. But to you and yours best wishes at this season and for health, success, and happiness throughout 2018.

Ken & James, Nicole & Lily, AJ and Robbie (and Henry!)

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Dinner
4101 Albermarle St., N.W., #303
City of Washington, District of Columbia
December 25, 2016

Whiskey apple cider cocktail
served with mixed nuts

Italian wedding soup
served with Ruffino Pinot Grigio 2015

Beef rib roast with Yorkshire pudding
Mashed potatoes
Roasted root vegetables
Cranberry sauce
served with SoMek Adom 2010 Shomron

Orange and fennel salad
served with anchovies on the side

Iced desserts: pistachio gelato, cashew milk vanilla
served with assorted cookies

Coffee, tea


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December 2016

Dear Friends, Family, and Followers,

            Greetings from the nation’s capital, home of the Washington Nationals, 2016 champions of the National League’s East division, and future workweek home of President Donald Trump. In the spirit of the season, we’ll make no further comment on that subject.

Instead, we’ll turn to the year’s happy news that son Andrew (AJ) is now the much blessed husband of Robbie Rogart Jost, married on Sept. 24 in Virginia’s wine country. The wedding weekend, cohosted by parents Katie White and Ken Jost and Rick and Shelley Rogart, was a joyous celebration of ritual, food, drink, music, and dance.

            AJ and Robbie took a two-week honeymoon to Hawaii, which included sightseeing on land in Kauai and Maui, parasailing over the Pacific, and helicoptering over Maui and Malakai. They returned to their apartment in Arlington and to their respective jobs: Robbie, now a fifth-year associate at the Washington office of Crowell & Moring; and AJ, investment analyst with Clark Enterprises. Before the wedding, Andrew also learned he had passed the CFA Level III exam: so he is now a “chartered financial analyst.”

            Nicole and her wife Lily Rea are resident in San Francisco’s Mission District. Nicole is a teaching artist for Performing Arts Workshop and a graduate teaching associate in theater and playwriting at San Francisco State University; Lily does audio and video for events for  the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. Nicole’s playwriting continues apace. Two of her plays were produced this year. Slut was presented by Minneapolis’ Gadfly Theater as part of its festival of short plays in June; Monarchs in Space was presented in October in Berkeley by PlayGround as par of its new play festival..

            Ken continues in his 24th term of writing the annual series Supreme Court Yearbook for CQ Press and now occasional reports for CQ Researcher, including a comprehensive pre-election overview of President Obama’s eight years in office (“The Obama Legacy,” Nov. 4). Ken devotes more time to his blog, Jost on Justice, and writes occasional reviews for the on-line Washington Independent Review of Books. James continues as senior systems analyst for the IT consulting firm Total Resource Management. After 11 years, they still live together apart: Ken in Cleveland Park, subway close to the Supreme Court; James just outside the Alexandria city limits, a short drive from his Old Town office.

            This is written as Ken and James are set to take a pre-Christmas trip to Malta and Sicily. Ken’s other travels included a week on his own to Berlin, Germany; a baseball road trip with AJ to Atlanta (three ballparks to go); and a trip to Miami for the LGBT journalists’ convention. Ken also tailed along with James on a work trip to Westchester County, New York, where Ken visited the homestead of the first chief justice, John Jay, and  had a good reunion with cousin Jerry Reilly. James visited his parents in Taiwan. His father, now in his late 80s, is doing fairly well after the emergency hospitalization a year ago.

            Every year, it seems, the seasonal wishes for peace on earth and good will toward all collide with harsh reality here in the United States and abroad. And this year as well. We hope for a resurgence in 2017 of tolerance for all and compassion for those most in need. And for you and those close to you we wish a new year of health and happiness. L’chaim!

Monday, December 21, 2015

                                                                                                                December 2015

Dear Friends and Family,

                Greetings of the season from the nation’s capital after a year of transitions. Nicole and Lily are now in San Francisco, where Nicole is pursuing a master’s degree in playwriting at San Francisco State. Andrew (AJ) has a new job and a new relationship status: engaged to be married to Robbie. Ken and James marked their 10-year anniversary and for the first time had an extended visit together to James’ native Taiwan. Yes, we know that the country is preparing to transition to a new president, but the less said about the political campaign, the better, at least for now.

                Nicole, age 29, gave her notice at Young Playwrights Theater, ending her seven years as artistic director, so that she could polish her writing in a master’s program. By picking S.F. State, she returns to her birth state and to Lily’s. They have a room in a house in Mission District. Nicole has a part-time administrative job with a nonprofit organization involved in public education; Lily has a tech job at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. They celebrated Thanksgiving in Chico with Lily’s folks, but they’ll be in Washington for Christmas.

                AJ, age 27, has just started a new job as investment analyst with Clark Enterprises, the investment arm of the big Washington-based company Clark Construction. After two years together, he popped the question to Robbie on a walk along the Georgetown waterfront. Robbie’s folks helped him buy the ring, wholesale; a friend was tasked to emerge from the bushes to shoot the engagement photograph. Robbie marked her fourth year as an associate at a big D.C. law firm; she works longish hours at the kinds of things that young associates do.

                Ken marked his 23rd year of writing Supreme Court Yearbook with a memorable term highlighted by the court’s ruling for marriage equality for same-sex couples nationwide. He continued to write for CQ Researcher, now as a contributor instead of full-time employee, with reports on patents and fair housing and updates on the Arab Spring and gay marriage. He also published a collection of Jost on Justice columns under the title Trending Toward #Justice. Inscribed copies are available to special friends at no extra charge on request (

                James continued his IT work with Total Resource Management, with completion of a big project for Los Angeles’s Department of Water and Power. In family news, James helped his aging parents close the Alabama house and move back to Taiwan, no longer able to manage the long flight back and forth. The move became more emotionally wrenching when James’s dad was hospitalized in Taipei in late October. James flew to Taiwan fearing the worst, but his father pulled through.

                Ken found time to join James in Taiwan for a week-long visit that gave James his first opportunity to show Ken where he grew up. Among other trips, Ken and A.J. added two more ballparks to their list: Comerica Park, Detroit, and Target Field, Minneapolis. Four more to go! Ken went to Nashville for his 50th high school reunion, to San Francisco for the gay journalists’ convention, and to Cambridge for a reunion of the Harvard college radio station WHRB. It was great fun to see long-time friends at all three and to do book events in Nashville and San Francisco.

                The world’s troubles weigh mightily on us this holiday season, with too many Americans in an unwelcoming mood. But we are grateful for our many blessings and hope that this season finds you and yours in good health and good spirits as a new year beckons.

Ken Jost & James Chang  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

                                                                                                            December 2014

Dear Friends and Family,

            Greetings from Washington, D.C., where two of the home teams faltered as their seasons ended. The Washington Nationals, with the best record in the National League, didn’t make it past the first round of the October playoffs. And Team Democrats were beaten worse than expected in November by Team Republicans. With that said, the Jost Family also won’t list 2014 as our favorite year ever. But we’re all in good health and reasonably good spirits in this holiday season.

            Ken continues to write The Supreme Court Yearbook and occasional reports for CQ Researcher as a contributor after his full-time position was terminated in summer 2013; the severance pay ran out this summer, so some belt-tightening is in order. But, along with Ken’s blog Jost on Justice, there’s still enough work to keep busy and enough money to pay the mortgage. James continues at Total Resource Management, the IT consulting company he’s been with now for nearly 20 years. But James was put into service this fall as caregiver to his elderly father after serious but non-life threatening surgery in November. James was in Alabama for more than a month helping his father get better; his family duties forced the postponement of the customary exotic vacation in November. We are making up for it by taking a post-Christmas Mediterranean cruise out of Barcelona, embarking on what the Brits call Boxing Day. We’ll celebrate the New Year at sea.

            The 20-something kids, Nicole and Andrew (AJ), are both working and in good health, as are their significant others: Nicole’s wife Lily Rea and AJ’s girlfriend Robbie Rogart. AJ and Robbie moved in together in late September in an apartment in the Clarendon neighborhood across the river in Northern Virginia. Nicole and Lily continue to live in their second-floor condo in DC’s Adams-Morgan neighborhood, with their adopted cat Molly.

            Nicole continues as artistic director at Young Playwrights Theater; Lily, the theater techie in the family, has been promoted to associate director of technical services at George Washington University. Nicole has continued to work on her coming out-themed play The Terror Fantastic and wrote another, The Creature, as part of a Halloween-themed festival performed at an up-and-coming venue in DC’s H Street Corridor.

            AJ continues at Guggenheim Investments in its Rockville, Md., office, now as senior client representative. He and Robbie have been together for a little over a year. Robbie is a third-year associate at a Washington, D.C., law firm. AJ had a minor setback this summer when he failed to pass Level 2 of the Chartered Financial Analyst in June; he’s studying to take it again next June. AJ also does some investing and trading on his own, along with Fantasy Football and Baseball.

            Despite the aborted November vacation, Ken and James had separate family trips this summer with the so-called kids. Ken and James traveled separately from Nicole and Lily to California to celebrate a milestone birthday for Lily’s father over the Fourth of July weekend. The party was a great success; Ken and James left Chico by way of a one-day tour of Napa Valley wineries. Ken and AJ continued their baseball road trips with visits to Coors Field, home of the Denver Rockies, and Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. We have now visited 24 of the 30 Major League ball parks. James joined in Arizona for three days at the Grand Canyon.

            As so often happens, the holiday season arrives against the backdrop of disheartening events, in this country and abroad. We regret the continuing racial divide in this country, especially as seen in the criminal justice system, and the casualties from conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere. But we are thankful for our blessings, and we wish for you and yours a new year of health, happiness, and success wherever it may take you.

Ken & James, Nicole & Lily, AJ & Robbie