Seat 17 E

Seat 17 E
Originally uploaded by jonnyups.
I'm on the plane, flying home from Stockton, CA. In front of me, a man
gets on the plane and is only left with a middle seat. He sits down and
begins to make small talk with the men on either side of him.

"I'm going back to San Diego after visiting my brother in Sacramento. I
am getting deployed to Iraq this week."

Poor guy, one last flight and he's stuck in the middle seat. I was lucky
enough to score the last aisle seat on the plane, thank you very much.
As we're ascending, I see the woman on my right holding one of those
tiny 'Jesus' pamphlets. To be very honest, those things drive me crazy.
You find them on your table at Starbucks, or all over the halls of your
college campus and they just get thrown away.

As we reached cruising altitude, the woman leans forward to the crack in
the seat and says, "Excuse me sir, I heard you're going to Iraq this
week. Please read this, it could be the most important thing you'll ever
read." Ballsy, I know. For anybody who's ever believed in something
(that could potentially sound crazy to others) enough to share it, knows
that sharing is hard.

The soldier politely said thank you, and took the mini-pamphlet from

Now this next part is for everybody. If you're a pray-er, a vibe-sender,
good-thinker, well-wisher, war opposer, war supporter, brother, sister,
friend human...do me a favor...think/pray/vibe away for this soldier. He
is going to a volitile place filled with violence, fear, uncertainty and
every other frightening emotion available. This may be his last month
alive, he could be the next hero to come out of this war, he could be
your cousin or brother.

Dislike our government, or whatever you like, but these soldiers are
just doing their job.

Now I have landed in San Diego. Tired from a very long and enjoyable
weekend, I look forward to sleeping in my bed, in my new place. Have a
great week, I'll try to update again by the weekend. Remember this
soldier this week.
sent from my phone, homie.


Night Sky

Night Sky
Originally uploaded by jonnyups.
Here we are, February. It's been almost 2 months since my dad passed away. 4 months since my niece (Emma) was born. A year and a month since I started my job as a Professional Photographer. 2 years since I moved into this house.

So many milestones. So little time. In a week I'm moving from this house into a house with a married couple that I know. They are really great, and I look at this as a step forward in life. I'm still taking pictures, sometimes even making money doing it. I like my job, and I love my friends. They are so supportive of me in every part of my life. I've even made some new friends lately, friends who I know will be a part of my life for years to come. Maybe even forever.

The photo attached to this post is a simple one. I set up my tripod, aimed my camera at the sky, and pressed the button. I took a flashlight and aimed it at the light post so it would actually show up. The light at the top of the post didn't even work. No tricks, just a simple photo. A simple, meaningless light post as the foreground of the most amazing universe I could never even fathom. This earth is so big, and we're just a speck in the galaxy, which is just a speck in the whole of things.

I feel so small. I want to feel small. There are days when my mind gets the best of me, and I feel even smaller. I don't believe the words I read, or hear. I become a skeptic. Writing these thoughts out for nobody to read seem to make things better.

I long to love as God loves me. Unconditionally. It's possible, and maybe even unavoidable. I don't look at the new year as the year I will love. I don't look at this as the month I will love. I look at this life as a whole, and know that I will someday love unconditionally. No time frame, although I will admittedly say that I hope this is the year! Love takes time, and that's what I have. I'm excited.

Surprisingly enough, just now after writing that did I remember that this is the month of Valentine's Day. Know that my motives in writing this post have nothing to do with that day. As I said, this life is a whole. Not a day. When I know who/how to love, it will be eternal, and not confined to the middle of February. I will give 100% of myself, and I will expect nothing in return.

Until then, I will feel like the light post in this photo. Not working, not lighting the ground on dark nights. Just the foreground of an amazing universe. Although I must say that I feel as if somebody is playing the part of me, and pointing a flashlight my way to light me up. It's working. I can feel it!