Year-end yammerings 

TAXING AFFAIRS

To paraphrase a Kid Rock song: “There is no party like a City of Detroit party, as a City of Detroit party (as well as the applicable Southeast Michigan regional suburban communities) will never cease to continue to exist in a perpetual party-like state.” A perpetual party-like state, eh? Such an event sounds like a job tailor-made for me, “Mr. Column Man,” hurtling through the icy-clear winter’s night … bridging the perilous gap of an abruptly abridged holiday week to bring you’re a never-ending stream of frivolous drivel. Sure, the parameters of the annual early holiday deadline had me reeling in perplexed consternation. What to say, where to go? An initial stab of the quill saw me writing about those anecdotes from recent everyday life which some columnists make a living from, and which I should be entitled to do once a year, like a lame Clement Moore Christmas Eve ripoff, f’rinstance, which went something like this: “I awakened to hear such a clatter … and I crept downstairs to see what was the matter … and what should my bleary-ing eyes appear, but a grinning editor’s red pen, and he drank all the beer … and ate the carrots we left for the reindeer … and his head was spinning in fear … and … the Captain Morgan’s and eggnog was gone … and I don’t feel so good.” Um … right. Some stellar Pulitzer material there. That one quickly ended up as kindling for the yule log (or at least passed on to Mitch Albom). Then I started on some of my favorite subjects: me, me and … well, yes … me. “Yes … at the moment, I am making a full pot of coffee … right … 12 cups … oh, it’s Starbuck’s French Roast … I like to drink it all when I’m off work … nonstop. I’m currently reading one of our local daily tabloids … never ceases to amaze me how Detroit News columnist-sweatshirt aficionado Neil Rubin writes about a family vacation in Colorado just to fill the fodder space, thereby getting paid, whilst also getting a tax deduction. I certainly need to take a page from his book. To wit, write about anything, but make sure you somehow combine it with a family vacation, or a long-distance call to Japan to talk to a friend, or go out to dinner at Tribute, and blather on about it like a Bob Talbert clone.

Then, presto chango, take an IRS tax deduction on the whole thing as a nonreimbursed biz expense. Great way to take the family on vacation on the cheap. … Did I ever tell you about the two-week trip to Florence I took with my wife and kids last year? Hmmmm. May need to amend my tax returns. … Merry Christmas to me, and, Ms. Havershank, get my accountant on the phone. Hold on now … let’s get back to me. … I think I’ll take some photos of myself to put in the column (more me!) … Oh, and Niagara’s at the door with my annual free painting in exchange for writing favorably about her a few times a year. … “ No. … that’s a painfully pedantic crutch on which to lean, and, well, just plain lame. (So what else is new?)

BOBS TO THE RESCUE

Fortunately enough, help is on the way, as you dear loyal end-of-the-year readers have been rescued from the uninspired ramblings which I have merely sampled above. Yes, there is hope in this short workweek, and that sprang eternal last Thursday night on the Detroit River shores of the Roostertail in beyootiful, fantabulous Deeetroit. Once again, Robert Stanzler and Made in Detroit have hooked up with the pride of Romeo, Bob “Kid Rock” Ritchie, and set up house in the Roostertail for their annual holiday soiree. As always, the stretch limos packed the parking lot early and often, as my late arrival had me parking in the next area code by the time I located an available space (and to believe that this thing was at Jacoby’s just three short years ago). The crush of humanity mixed with cigarette and cannabis fumes inside was clearly a Detroit melting pot, from hip-hop to hipster, bodybuilders to body checkers, dealers to players, indie rockers to indecent exposure, media whores to the media types who love them, this party was a veritable Whitman’s Sampler of our local scene. Of course, with far too many names to mention (almost all of whom have been in this column in the past), I shall merely recite some of the select few who happened in front of the Loose Lips camera lens, including peripatetic vintage-clothing peddler Heidi Lichtenstein (now at Changes in Birmingham) and boyfriend Steve King, the latter of whom has been deeply ensconced in the recording studio twiddling the knobs for Eminem’s “8 Mile” sound track. Meanwhile, as the crush became too much to bear in the main room, I accepted the invitation of entertainment attorney Mike Novak to head back to the VIP Room, which was reached only after a run past groupies and a 10-foot giant bodyguard, and then through the Roostertail kitchen. Once inside, there was an array of scenesterati, most of whom were clearly enamored by the open bar aspect of the evening. I pushed through the room, chatting at times with Motor head honcho Dan Sordyl, who has finally reopened Café Zuppa in Hamtramck under its new moniker, Soupersonic. Saved at last! Zuppa was, bar none, one of the best and cheapest places to eat in town. Sordyl indicated that he has cleaned up the old joint and added some new items as well. Also spotted clogging the way in the VIP Room were Scott Ross and Jeni Andrews, who is engaged to Jeff Grand of the Howling Diablos (most of whom were also present). Milling about as well were a smattering of Red Wings, including Brendan Shanahan, Sergei Federov, Brett Hull and Chris Chelios, still reveling in their 5-1 disposal of Columbus earlier in the evening. Mr. Rock himself appeared to spend most of his time back in the VIP Room, accompanied by Pamela Anderson, as well as a human wall of overstuffed bodyguards. All in all, it was a perfect way to ring out an imperfect year. Kudos to all and to all a good night.

Casey Coston writes here every other week. Got gossip, essential factoids or party invites? E-mail looselips@metrotimes.com, or call the tip line at 313-962-5281. Press * then dial

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