Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hunger Games

Yes - I'm on board with casting the Hunger Games movie. I can hardly wait to see the adaptation of the horribly gruesome teen novel. They've already cast the majority of characters - and I was a little skeptical of their choice for Katniss, but after seeing this cover of Entertainment Weekly, I agree with their choice. She looks like she could be an ordinary girl from the seam. We'll see.

Recently (this week) I've begun re-reading the books. But this time I'm listening rather than reading a hard copy. I forgot how good and addicting they are. My boss just finished the third one today, and she has literally been glued to her i-pod since starting the first one. They are an addicting series, and I'm grateful there were only three. Harry Potter already has a monopoly on my book/movie time - I don't think I could handle a competing series.

Well basically I just wanted to share this cover of EW so you can get excited for the games to begin!

Latest Obsession


My newest music obsession is Mumford and Sons. I have listened to them since last year, but just recently I have become obsessed. They are so great! I ran to their CD a few nights ago, and since then I haven't been able to listen to other music. They are amazingly talented and their music has a unique feel and sound to it. Check them out, you will not regret it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Quirks


For some reason I've been thinking a lot today about the weird quirks I have that my wife will have to put up with/embrace. I like to think I'm fairly normal, but there are some odd things I would love her to do with me. This was all brought on today when I was walking up to University Press and I saw a pack of ants tearing apart the carcass of an earthworm. I of course paused, squatted down, and watched the ants for maybe almost a minute. They are so fascinating. I could watch ants all day. I hope my wife will embrace that.

I also hope that she wont mind that I listen to the same song/cd on repeat for weeks. If I love it, I'll never tire of it. Hopefully she wont mind. Likewise, I hope that she will want to sing along with every song - and that when a duet comes on, she will automatically sing the girl part while I sing the boy part. It should be a natural reaction for people, but for some reason I've notice a lot of people like to sing both parts. I don't understand their gender confusion. :)

My wife will have to put up with the fact that I am terrified of "settling down" - which means that I may want to move around a lot. This is a hard thing to ask of somebody, especially when my ambitions are to live in third world countries throughout the globe. I don't want someone who is terrified to give birth in Uganda, Nicaragua, or Thailand.

I've also got this bad habit of being grumpy in the morning. I'm never for real mad, but I can for sure rip your head off if you look at me wrong. I hope she's a morning person and can accept the fact that even if I choose to get up early, I may be Mr. Grumpyface.

I need someone to understand that I like to be clean - and hate certain messes, especially hair or sticky anything. I hate living with roommates who leave toothpaste in the bottom of the sink, or sticky/crumbly messes on the kitchen counters. Don't people understand that those are classified as messes?

Recycling will be a must in my house, and my wife will just have to accept the fact that I am always trying to find the most eco-friendly junk on the market. It is not always feasible on a college budget, but it is always a concern of mine. Please let her embrace that quirk of mine.

Last but not least, I hope I find a girl who will do anything with me - no reservations. I like to try everything and do anything, but I hate having to drag people along with me. I want someone who will be as spontaneous and open minded as I am, but also someone who will keep me down to earth.

Most of all, I need someone who will keep me company for eternity. That's not too much to ask, right? Just someone who will accept my quirks and love me for/in spite of them.

Waste of Time


Sometimes I sit in class and think that I'm wasting my life away - not because I don't want to be in school, but because my professors are ridiculous. Right now in my sports medicine class we're stretching our ankles. It is quite enjoyable. My ankles feel all sorts of healed! My sports medicine professor is a nice guy - but seriously! We're reading one of my classmates assignments on sports rehab and doing the things he recommended for an ankle injury. Good grief!

Just last Friday my sociology professor answered his phone during class rather than answer my question. Literally! This is how the conversation went:
(discussion is about Anglo-Saxton)
Me: What about Whales
Professor: I'm glad you mentioned that, it will be an answer on the test... *answers phone and has a brief conversation.
Me: (to the class) You did not just answer the phone rather than my question!
Professor: Clumsily apologizes for interrupting class - and attempts to elaborate on why he answered the phone. Most of the class has dismissed this behavior due to apathy and class continues as regular.

I'm so glad my scholarships pay for my education, cause this is simply ridiculous!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Adulthood


I love that I'm going to be 25 this year. It's terrifying cause 25 seems so adult, but I'm actually glad to be one year older and wiser. Hopefully this doesn't mean that I have to grow up and act responsible. I think I'll still be a carefree soul cause the thought of responsibility scares me. I don't want to revert back to being a child, but I want to postpone becoming an adult as long as possible. Scary to think that in exactly two months from tomorrow I will be graduating from college. Yikes!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Name is Devin Graves...

While in Hawaii we had a recurring joke that any time somebody complained about being fat, white, tired, sore, etc. we would say, "My name is Devin Graves (replace with your name) and I love my body." I didn't give this much thought, but rather just laughed every time we jokingly commented on how much we loved our bodies. Well today I am very grateful for my body. Of course there are those imperfections, but I am able to do a lot of things that many cannot do.

The reason I think of this is because I saw a guy on campus today that was probably close to 300 pounds. I easily caught up to him as he entered one of the buildings, where he slumped down on a bench to catch his breath. As I passed him I felt guilty for having complained about anything that happens with my body. This morning I was able to wake up at 6:00 and run 4.5 miles, and still out walk many of the students on campus. What a blessing it is to be able to have a functioning body. Although my body is far from perfect, I am grateful for the progress I've made and for the ability I have to exercise, eat right, and feel good.

And for the record, my name is Devin Graves, and I love my body.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Final Semester

So this semester is my last at BYU-Idaho, and I'm all sorts of excited. It really is going to be a great semester. Here are some good things happening so far:

I'm loving Service Activities! We had our retreat last weekend and I love everyone that is on the council. We have some amazing directors, coordinators and managers. This semester is going to be grand. The programs are off to an amazing start. We have a lot of things happening and a lot of changes, and they're all good. I love SERVICE!

I made the competitive mens volleyball league here at BYU-Idaho. I'm really excited for that. I figured it was my last semester so I may as well. I'm also playing grass volleyball which should be fun... if the sun ever shows its face in Rexburg.

I'm doing Newel K. Whitney again and I've been able to do the advertising for it. I love designing! I'm also doing a lot of advertising for the English Department. Those little projects have been keeping me busy, but I love doing them. I'm now in the process of designing my graduation announcements.

I get my braces off in a few weeks! Tomorrow I am going to get fitted for my retainers. I'm real excited for that. I'm getting permanent ones (a little nervous about that) and hopefully will have my braces off by the 27th of this month.

I'm going to the Salt Lake City Internship Expedition in June. I really wanted to go to Denver, but it is the same week as the NKW summit, so I opted for SLC. It should be great, and maybe I'll be able to find me a great job. I don't really know what I'm doing after graduation, but there are sooo many opportunities. I just need to find the right fit. I really need to dedicate some time to that.

Other than that, I'm a pretty boring guy. I'm glad to be back blogging after a month of hiatus. This is going to be a grand summer. I'm real excited for everything fun to happen!

Hawaii...finally!


This may end up being the longest post on my blog, so I’ll sum up everything that will be said in a few words (in case you don’t want to read everything) and then you can just look at the pictures. P.S. There are a ton more pictures on my Facebook, I'm just really impatient when it comes to uploading pictures to blogger.

Hawaii was a dream. Luaus, Pearl Harbor, snorkeling, surfing, Hukilau Café, Chinatown, Crouching Lion, NSO, cockroach car, Chainman’s Hat, red hot dogs, PCC and more.

We left on a Sunday from Portland, Oregon. My mother was so gracious and took us to the airport. It was so exciting! We were thrilled to be able to go to Hawaii – but due to a lack of sleep we were for sure able to nap in the airport.

We got to Hawaii and rejoiced at the sunshine and warmth at the airport.

I don’t think any of us could stop smiling. We enjoyed our first meal in Hawaii with a ward at BYU-Hawaii. What would be better to welcome a group of kids from Idaho to Polynesia? Potatoes of course! J We then frolicked on the beach in the warm water, then settled down and planned the rest of the week.

On Monday we enjoyed the beach, boogie boarding, some fun tennis matches, playing baseball for FHE and Ted’s Bakery. It was a very relaxing day and a great way to adjust to Hawaii.

Tuesday started off with a grand tennis match between Valerie and myself. We bet on the set – whoever lost had to cook breakfast. Valerie may or may not have learned how to cook Eggo Waffles after she lost. Victory tastes even sweeter on a tropical island. We spent the remainder of the day hiking Crouching Lion. This is an intense hike through a mountain range outside of Laie. We spent 6 hours hiking through tropical forest, lava rock, jungle, cliffs, and swampy mud. It was such a great hike and nobody cried or came near death.




After the hike we were covered in mud, so we hitch-hiked our way back to Laie and Julie and I went and visited her former bishop, who was also vacationing in Hawaii. It was a lot of fun – and it turns out I totally knew their daughter. Small world when you’re Mormon.

On Wednesday we rode the bus to Honolulu and visited Chinatown – which was the most authentic Chinatown I’ve been to in a long time. We saw a lot of disgusting food things, including live toads and every part of a pig imaginable. We went to the swap meet and bought bucket loads of souvenirs and wandered through the shops of knick-knacks and random Hawaiian junk made in China. We also were able to visit Pearl Harbor, which was amazing. I hadn’t given much thought to the men and women who died in Pearl Harbor, but I was awestruck at their story and the memorial built in their remembrance.

That night Julie and I were able to help the NSO at BYU-Hawaii with their Spirit Challenge. It was so interesting to see how differently their campus does NSO. I was asked to lead the debriefing among the students and I was able to share my testimony of the Spirit Challenge and 1st Nephi 8. It was a very special and spiritual experience for me.

Thursday we went to breakfast at he Hukilau Café, a small café in Laie that is famous among the people on the island. I had banana pancakes, and we all tried to eat some sort of “Hawaiian” breakfast. It was DELICIOUS. I love food! Afterward we went to the temple and were able to do a session. The Laie Temple is beautiful! It was one of the first temples and so it is built differently and has older artwork, etc. But it was full of beauty that is completely unique to that temple.

After the temple we headed over to the Polynesian Cultural Center to experience a little of Polynesia. The variety of cultures that were on display at the center was awesome. I loved learning about the different islands, their dances, songs, and language. I love embracing new cultures – and I even got my picture taken while dancing to a Tahitian dance. We took a boat ride through the park to our luau, where we enjoyed an all you can eat buffet. We tried poi, poke (a raw salmon salad), and of course, kalua pork. We also purchased piña colada and a mango drink inside of carved pineapples. It was amazing. We felt like real Hawaiians while wearing our leis, sipping drinks from a pineapple and eating pork from a spigot.




After the luau we went to the night show called HA: The Breath of Life. It was a depiction of a young mans journey through Polynesia and his coming of age. It featured dances from all the Polynesian islands – all of the dancers being students from BYU-Hawaii. We loved the show so much - we went and saw it again on Saturday.

On Friday we spent the majority of the day snorkeling through a bunch of coral reef. We snorkeled up to an island called Chinamans Hat, then hiked to the top of the island. It was a beautiful view of the crystal clear water. After snorkeling, we were a little tuckered out, so we got drunk on sugar from a shaved ice stand and enjoyed the BYU-Hawaii talent show and a Fijian party.

On Saturday I finally achieved one of my life goals and went surfing. Surfing is hard work. Although we had practiced our balance on the IndoBoard for months, we had not practiced standing up or catching a wave. Those took a little longer to master (maybe we didn’t even master them). But it was great. We enjoyed a lunch of red hot dogs and went to another luau with the NSO bunch.

On Sunday we enjoyed church at BYU-Hawaii, toured the temple grounds and went to a fireside at the temple visitors center. It was a beautiful musical fireside. We also went to a FHE type thing with the Tongans. We were able to sing in Tongan and enjoy Tongan food. The Tongan people are some of the nicest we met. We were sad because we knew we only had one day left on the island, but we didn’t let it get our spirits down.



On Monday we went to Waikiki and Julie went parasailing while Valerie and I enjoyed the beach. We stopped by Walmart and bought some more souvenirs and finally flew back to the mainland. What a great and amazing vacation.

21 Suggestions

21 Suggestions for Success

1. Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery

2. Work at something you enjoy and that’s worthy of your time and talent

3. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully

4. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know


5. Be forgiving of yourself and others


6. Be generous


7. Have a grateful heart


8. Persistence, persistence, persistence


9. Discipline yourself to save money, even on the most modest salary


10. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated


11. Commit yourself to constant improvement


12. Commit yourself to quality


13. Understand that happiness is not based on possession, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and trust


14. Be loyal


15. Be honest


16. Be a self starter


17. Be decisive even if it means you’ll sometimes be wrong


18. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every are of your life


19. Be bold and courageous when you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did


20. Take good care of those you love


21. Don’t do anything that wouldn’t make your mom proud

-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.