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