As of last night, it is official that I live in the sticks. I live in one of the most rural states in the US, one that our current Vice President recently made fun of. However, like I enjoy telling my friends from grad school (since we are now spread all over the world), I live in the equivolent of New York City in my state. Not really much going on here, although I guess when the university's football stadium is full, my city is the biggest in the state. So, why is it official that I live in the sticks? Well, some of you know about my goat problem. I technically live outside of city limits, like the line is two blocks from my apartment. So, my neighbors have goats. And we're not just talking about 2 or 3, we're talking about a whole pen full. I think there has to be at least 10 of them, and the big billy goat is scary. I don't want him to get near my car. You're thinking, well, if they're in a pen, why I are worried about the billy goat getting near your car? Mainly, because we seem to have encounters when they escape from their pen and I'm driving through the road that leads to my apartment complex. The baby goats are soooooooo adorable. However, I don't want it on my conscience that I accidentally ran over a baby goat as it was crossing the street to eat the neighbor's overgrown grass.
So, if that isn't hillbilly enough, last night I was coming home from meeting a friend for a drink downtown and I had another encounter. In order to get to my apartment, I need to follow one road until it deadends, and then follow the road down by the goats. I had my high beams on, as I usually do, because there are no lights back in that area, and I saw two huge animals in the deadend. I thought, OMG, the goats got all the way up here? But then I thought to myself, that animal is too big to even be the billy goat. IT WAS TWO HUGE DOES. HUGE. Seriously, I don't think I've ever seen deer that big. Well, maybe in the woods on the interstate, but not here in town. Not to mention, they basically were ten steps away from being in someone's yard. Kind of crazy. At first I was a little scared, because I thought they would be spooked and run at my car, so for three seconds I didn't move and they didn't move. Finally, they turned around and ran into the field behind them. Weird. Truly weird.
Something I've been thinking a lot of is how we socialize and how that messes with our weight loss. This summer, I've been hanging out with a new group of people, mainly from my department, although other people who I've met through this group. It seems as though our socializing revolves around meeting at one of the many bars downtown, either for trivia night at a local pub or meeting at a nice bar for a glass of wine. When I first started going out, I would easily down two glasses of wine in a few hours. It was a bit odd, mainly because I've lost so much weight that two glasses of wine easily makes me tipsy. Not to mention the calories that come with the wine or beer I consume when I go out. So, I've made a rule for myself... I'll meet friends for a drink, but ONE drink and then I'll drink water the rest of the time. Sure, it's kind of funny to ask the bartender for a water, but it saves me on calories. What are your tricks when you go out with friends to a bar or pub?