Joseph Thompson's 2009 Best Of Picks

Never ask a glutton what his or her favorite part of a meal was. The answer will invariably be a lie, but it is not the glutton's fault. The question itself is misleading. It contains an inherent expectation of an answer pertaining to a particular course. In truth, a glutton doesn't eat because of the food. A glutton eats to finish. He or she finds no relief or rest until the labor of mastication is over. The best part of the glutton's feast is leaving the table empty.

I consumed a lot in 2009. I gorged myself sick on high body count films like Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker and sci-fi flicks like Duncan Jones's Moon. I guzzled down books like Essential Dykes to Watch Out For and Fun Home, both by Alison Bechdel. I discovered and devoured an entire shelf of Philip K. Dick at my local library. Through the magic of HD, I wept and laughed as my ears drank in Natalie Dessay's performance as Amina in Bellini's La Sonnambula at the Met.

And the wine! At the end of 2009, I opened a bottle of rose hip and violet wine that I made over '07 and '08. I discovered chocolate and currant flavors replaced the pale purple of the flowers. The sharp citrus in the rose hips were now fruity overtones.

But I found no relief until 2009 expired during the dark part of winter. The best part of 2009 was not what I consumed. The best part was seeing the empty tureens and knowing they would not be filled. The best part was leaving the table and -- as we continue through the bleak end of winter -- rediscovering hunger.

The best part of 2009 was and continues to be 2010.