The table is prepared, the food is ready, your stomach growls with anticipation, but before diving in you take time for the things you are thankful for.  We are all thankful for the family we have, the friends who are part of our life, and the loved one who sticks by you through thick and thicker.  Now think outside this box .............. there are other things in your life to be thankful for.  Some may be important, some may seem ridiculous to everyone but you.  My list will hopefully make you look deeper this holiday season.

Just to get the obvious out of the way: I'm thankful for my girlfriend (and my best friend) who puts up with my weirdness on a daily basis, her daughter Kate who makes me laugh at least once a day, my mom in Monmouth County who will be hosting turkey dinner for my brother who recently moved back there with his Harley in tow, my niece and nephew who I wish I could more with, my sisters and their husbands - especially my brother-in-law Lew who continues to battle cancer with strength and courage - and with that having my own good health is very appreciated.

Here are my 10 not so obvious list that I am thankful for is in no particular order:

1) A Job - We all should appreciate any job in this economic times.  The job may not be sexy, but it beats feeling like you are going nowhere or sponging off someone else.  Being unemployed for nearly 8 months had me appreciating just being at Fed Ex earlier this year, and the job taught me more than I ever imagined about life.  I've taken those lessons into this new job with SoJO 104.9.

2) Real Friends - I seem to have learned this lesson hard at times, but my father once said "If you count all the real friends you have on one hand you are lucky".  I've been lucky to have my old friend from college Al trying hard to reconnect with me.  We worked with each other at my old college station, and he's a true patriot having served oversees for our country 3 times over the last several years.  A real friend is there for you when the call comes in at 3am and no questions are asked - you are just there.

3) The Food Network - Nothing like watching wonderful food, gaining great ideas for dinner, and having your stomach feel a sense of wishing when your on a diet.  The Next Iron Chef is the latest in a line of shows I'm addicted to, but I cannot get enough of Chopped.  Takes skill and a twisted mind to take some of those "ingredients" and make something delicious out of it.

4) The Most Interesting Man in the World - It's not about the beer!  I want him to give me a pat on my back so I can put it on my resume.  How can you not respect a man who bowls overhand?  My favorite quotes from the Dos Equis commercials: "When in Rome, they do as he does" and "He is the life of parties he has never attended"

5) The Mighty Macs - In a sports world where there is no pro basketball going on, and college scandal out at Penn State, the story of Immaculata University is inspiring.  The woman's team led by South Jersey's own Cathy Rush went into the 1st ever woman's basketball championship despite when she arrived there the school had no gym and no uniforms.  This film getting out has been another underdog story winning - the film was filmed over 2 years ago, shelved, and thankfully brought out in limited release.  Go see it while you can.

6) The beach - Jersey Shore and Delaware Beaches.  Just after summer is over is the best time to be there.

7) Holiday Movies and Specials - From A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, to It's A Wonderful Life, some of the best TV happens this time of the year.  Nothing like enjoying The Holiday, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer this time of year (and it starts with Planes, Trains and Automobiles).

8) Soundscapes - Call me lame, but that Music Choice channel helps you sleep when you cannot.

9) Philadelphia-Between The Ritz Carlton and Loews, The Continental and The Reading Terminal Market, The Franklin Institute and Chinatown, The Franklin Fountain and The Gallery Mall.  Some of my favorite memories.

10) Change - I used to be someone reluctant to change, but I've learned the living life is about adapting, juggling, and hitting curve balls thrown at you.  Change is constant, and something to be afraid to embrace.