30 Before 30: Castle Autographs (Part One)

#18 from my 30 Before 30 list: Complete my collection of autographs from the cast of Castle


In January 2012, Seamus Dever (Det. Kevin Ryan on Castle) hosted a contest via his website. The first 200 people to email their mailing address via his website’s contact page would receive an autographed “wedding” photo of Det. Ryan and his bride Jenny, who is played by Seamus’ real-life wife Juliana Dever. About a week later, the photo arrived. I was surprised that I had received one of the photos. So many people had entered the contest that Seamus’ website had actually crashed.

I was even more surprised that, when I got home, there were actually two large envelopes sent from California. One was obviously from Seamus Dever’s PR firm, but the other was hand-written with no return address.
I found this inside the second envelope:

This was completely unexpected! I had no idea that Molly Quinn (Alexis Castle) was planning on sending this or that it would arrive the same exact day as Seamus & Juliana’s photo. And I couldn’t believe when I read her tweet that she remembered I had sent a Christmas card to her fan mail address!


Now that I had autographed photos from not one but two Castle cast members, I decided I should try to start/complete the “collection” by getting autographed photos from the rest of the cast. Jon Huertas, who plays Javier Esposito, recently started a YouTube channel and promised an autographed digital poster for each of his subscribers. While the poster is digital, he said on Twitter that a hi-res version can be printed out. Consider me subscribed.

For Jon and the rest of the cast, I recently sent out a bunch of postcards and SASEs in hopes that an autographed photo will be mailed back. I also included a postcard for Andrew Marlowe, creator and writer of Castle. Even though I already have Seamus’ and Molly’s autographs, I sent them postcards just to say hello :) Each postcard had its own envelope with the person’s name hand-lettered, and then all the individual envelopes were stuffed into a larger envelope that I shipped off to Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, where they film Castle. (I was given the address by someone who works at the studios and was told to send fan mail there.)

Now I play the waiting game. I will be sure to post an update after the autographs (hopefully) arrive!


Dream Journal: Gandalf and Donuts

Penny Johnson Jerald as Captain Victoria Gates AKA “Iron Gates” or “Sir”

I was taking a class taught by Captain Victoria Gates from Castle. I’m not sure if it was actually her, but it looked like her and was just as frightening and intimidating as the character. The class met in a small study or library, where the lights were dim and the walls were mahogany and lined with books. The room was just big enough for the large table, “Professor” Gates’ chair at the head by the door, and the students’ chairs around the table.

We were going over a textbook, and she was mercilessly calling on unprepared students to share what they found interesting about the reading. I hadn’t done the reading and was searching the book for something to share. When she called my name, I flipped through the book to find any term I could throw out. I landed on the section about “ITS,” a term that referred to one’s desire to be like God. I was trying to make up something to say, so I commented that I found interesting the thin line between the ITS, wanting to be like God, and another term that referred to one’s desire to be God. Apparently I wasn’t far off-base with this, and Gates proceeded to elaborate on the subject. She showed us a mathematical equation to calculate the difference between wanting to be like God and wanting to be God. ((a^2 – b^2) / c^2) / 9. Or something like that.

Kevin James

After class, or perhaps in a completely separate dream, I was driving down a busy road. At a red light, I came to a stop next to an old man who was half in my lane and half in the shoulder. I noticed that Kevin James was standing nearly in the middle of the intersection. He was passing out promotional donuts from a local shop to drivers as they went by. When the light turned green, I rolled down my window and drove closer to Kevin so that I could get a donut. I was close enough but did not anticipate the donut to be 2 pounds and as wide as a dinner plate! Luckily I was able to keep my grip on the free treat. I think at that point, I was no longer driving but walking. As I walked past a Dunkin Donuts filled with people I knew, I peeked my head in to say hello. “Just wanted to say hi,” I said. They looked at me like I were a traitor, since I had the ginormous donut in hand from their competitor. “Get outta here,” one of the patrons mumbled.

Later in the dream, Cinderella was in the woods with her mother and father, who was a giant, angry, Gandalf-like man with claws. Her mother was trying to reason with “Gandalf,” but he was focused on trying to get Cinderella, who was running away and trying to hide. Cinderella was also tearing apart a foam mat or pillow and throwing chunks at the giant. Her mother told her not to tear apart the whole thing, because they would need proof later that she had been alive (or something like that). Her mother was also trying to create a list of all of Cinderella’s nicknames and aliases so she can register them for protection.

Dream Journal: “It Has to Be Rain”

Jon Huertas

Last night’s dream featured Jon Huertas as Javier Esposito, his character on Castle. We were part of a group in what seemed to be Israel, which was under attack. It was hard to tell if we were innocent civilians or part of a militia, but we were on the losing end of the battle. We had tents set up on a hillside or cliff overlooking a desert valley.

A giant block of tunics fell from the sky. Sitting in the valley below, the block looked like a single folded tunic. Perspective made it seem like I could reach out and pick it up, and it would be just my size. Since it was down in the valley, the tunic was actually a giant blockade the size of a football field. We thought the opposition forces had dropped them down to us as some kind of relief aid until we saw that they were also dropping fireballs. “BLOCKADE!” someone yelled as we ran for cover. The block of tunics turned into a wall of fire.

We were safe, but the battle was not over. The sky turned dark. “It looks like rain,” Javier said with hope and perhaps a bit of delusion in his voice.

But it wasn’t rain. We all knew – even Javi knew – that it was really the enemy’s air forces coming in to finish the job. Their numbers were so great that their aircraft darkened the surrounding clouds. “I don’t think that’s a storm cloud,” our comrade said.

“NO! I need it to rain! It has to be rain!” Javier yelled as he fought back tears and flashbacks. He was a veteran and already knew the harsh reality of war. He did not want to experience war again; he was afraid. I stood up and approached Javier. Pacing back and forth, he continued to mumble, “It needs to rain. It has to be rain.” I hugged him and squeezed him tight. He broke down in tears; his facade of stoic bravery crumbled. “I want it to rain, too, Javi. I want it to rain,” I whispered.

Facing our imminent death, Javier and I went inside and found ourselves on the upstairs landing of my parents’ house. I sat on the top step as he went downstairs. “I need to tell him I love him,” I thought to myself, “but I don’t want him to think I love him. He just needs to know I care, and he needs to hear those words from someone before we all die.” Javier came back upstairs, and as he reached the top step, I placed a gentle, comforting hand on his knee.

“I love you, Javi.”
“I love you, too,” he replied with a knowing look that these words would probably be our last.

Additional dreams from the evening:
Yesterday, our office kitchen was stocked with hot chocolate mix and marshmallows. Last night, I dreamed that the hot chocolate mix was actually dark chocolate mix and oatmeal.

I was riding inside a cart at a high-end craft store. They had postcards there, which highlighted some of their famous clients, I think. One of the postcards featured the Pampered Chef lady who recently did a show at my apartment. Even in my dream, I was confused by this.

I was at a wedding reception, and all of the older couples were getting up to dance. They were only allowed to participate if the number of years they had been married was a multiple of ten. Or maybe it was just double digits that were required.