Yeah, yeah, I know it doesn’t take too much mental capacity to conjure up what you’re thankful for and put it down on paper. But, frankly, I don’t care if it’s a cop-out column. Here’s my 2010 Thank List, in no order at all:
· Rihanna. Because we’re getting married next year, remember?
· Good red wine, preferably a Cotes du Rhone or Chianti, but I’m constantly discovering great newbies. Red wine, you make me happier, wiser and a better speaker. Which leads me to …
· Cellar on Greene wine bar in Five Points. Because you take such special care of Big Wayne and me.
· HBO. Because “Boardwalk Empire” is friggin’ sweet. And “Entourage” had a nice revival this year, as well. OK, let’s just get television out of the way. “Mad Men,” “Modern Family,” “Family Guy” and “AC360” -- y’all still make cable well worth it.
· The Nickelodeon Theatre in Columbia. Because you’ve restored my love for “going to the movies,” and I can even enjoy a beer or wine as I take in the flick.
· Camden Media Co. Because I enjoy what I do each day, and you give me a paycheck for my services. Many people aren’t awarded that opportunity.
· Christopher Hitchens. Because you’ve maintained your wit and spot-on mind despite this struggle with cancer of the esophagus. Regardless of what the next year holds for you, the world is a more intelligent, tolerant place because of your work.
· Lady Gaga. Because as cliché as it is, you are an inspiration for millions, and you define the word artist.
· Thedailybeast.com. Because you make it so simple for newsies like myself to know what’s trending, but you also make it easy to read the whole story rather than snippets.
· David Brooks, a columnist for the New York Times. Because you’re a realistic conservative and not a maniacal tea-partier oblivious to what’s going on outside your town or city.
· Teachers. Because those of you who take your profession seriously, and work at it, sacrifice a lot to ensure America will remain one of the most tolerant, educated and safest societies in the world.
· Michael Vick’s play for my Philadelphia Eagles this year. Note that I didn’t say Michael Vick.
· Coffee. Because you’re the reason I become a human being each morning (Shout out to Shirley at B.P. across the street! Thanks for always having it ready for me). On the same note, Red Bull, because my afternoons would be worthless without you. And Diet Pepsi to maintain. No thank you for you, Diet Coke.
· Tom, Lois and Tyler Baratko. Because the three of you are rather magnifico. I guess Christine, my soon-to-be sister-in-law, as well, for saying yes to big Ty-Guy. Weird.
My beloved readers, enjoy yourselves this Thanksgiving. Take in some food and laughs, and savor the time spent with those you love. Know that it’s likely someone in the world would love to be in your shoes.