September 23, 2012
Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game) and one of his friends from college were talking about their relationships at lunch. During this time, they were both college students at a university in northeastern Indiana.
"How long have you been with Mackenzie?" Levi's friend asked.
"Going on seven years," Levi replied with a smile.
"That is the longest relationship I have ever heard of."
"Oh really? I know of a few that have lasted pretty long, including my sister's relationship."
"I wish all of us were as lousy as you," Levi's friend remarked somewhat sarcastically.
"What is that supposed to mean?" Levi asked, pretty confused.
"Wouldn't it be fun to hang out with other girls so you can see who else is out there?"
"Um, no. I'm pretty happy with where I am."
"Can I hang out with Mackenzie? She's really cute."
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game) and his girlfriend, Mackenzie Burbanks, spent the whole afternoon in downtown Boston with their friends, Jack Andrews and Asad Prejesh. They all live in Allston, a neighborhood in Boston, so they took the green line into the downtown area.
The four kids were there around noon, and they planned to stay out for as long as they wanted. At 7 pm, Levi and Mackenzie left to go back to their apartment. Jack and Asad decided to stay out for a little while longer.
Levi and Mackenzie wanted some "alone time" for a while, at least until Jack and Asad came home. After taking off their coats and settling in for the night, Levi put on one of his favorite songs and softly sang it to Mackenzie. She was lying on her back on the couch in the common area, and Levi sat by her feet.
A few minutes later, he moved on top of her and started kissing her. Mackenzie could feel his extremely fast heartbeat against the right side of her chest. Her magenta quarter zip was starting to make her feel hot. Mackenzie pulled Levi's shirt up and placed her hand against his chest.
Something Levi absolutely loves when she does this.
Once they decided to put on some classic rock music, Levi decided to lie next to Mackenzie. He pulled his shirt down, but the lower part of his belly button was exposed. Mackenzie put her ear against Levi's chest and listened intently to his heartbeat.
Another thing Levi absolutely loves when she does this.
His heart had slowed down a bit, but it was still pretty fast. While Mackenzie's head was still against Levi's chest, he slowly stroked her hair. Mackenzie closed her eyes, and she thought that she could possibly fall asleep to the sound of Levi's heart beating.
Once Jack and Asad came back from downtown Boston, they noticed that Levi and Mackenzie were half-asleep on the couch in the common area.
"Okay, lovebirds. We are home," Asad announced.
"And we brought home some pizza," Jack added as he carried two large pizza boxes into the apartment.
"Oh good. I thought I heard my stomach making some loud noises," Levi replied. Mackenzie's head was still on his chest. "So what do we owe you?"
"Each of us pays $8," Jack said.
"I've got myself and Mackenzie," Levi remarked. Mackenzie was still in her own little world.
Sunday, September 2, 2018
Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game) came back home from a very sweaty tennis practice. He and his best friend, Jack Andrews, played singles, and they had to cover the whole sides of their own court. It was very humid today, but that did not stop Jack or Levi from playing their most favorite sport. Asad Prejesh, their other friend, spent the whole day in downtown Boston with a few mutual friends. He was really not in the mood to play tennis as he thought it was way too hot to even be outside.
Yet, he was still outside with their friends, Jing Hao and Kevin Maggliardi.
Mackenzie Burbanks, Levi’s long-time girlfriend, was out earlier today with a few of her friends, Suzanne Gopal and Jennifer Watson. Once she and her girlfriends called it quits for the rest of the day, she resorted back to the apartment and put on some comedy TV shows while waiting for Levi, Jack, and Asad to return.
Around 2 pm, Jack and Levi returned to the apartment. Jack decided to take a shower first, and Levi decided to relax in his room. Mackenzie was still watching TV, as she did not feel up to going outside due to the hot weather.
Boston is a great city, but sometimes it can get a little too warm.
After his shower, Jack decided to go back out and meet up with Asad. Levi decided to shower next, which only took him about 20 minutes.
Mackenzie was half-awake by the time she felt a soft tap on her shoulder. Turning around, she realized it was Levi trying to get her attention. She was a little tired from watching TV for a straight hour and a half, so she reached for the remote to turn off the TV.
Levi turned off the TV for her.
Both Levi and Mackenzie lay on the couch together, enjoying each other’s company. Both of them being introverts, they didn’t feel the need to really carry on a conversation. As long as they were both in the same room together, this inseparable couple could not be any happier.
Levi was wearing his gray t-shirt with the words, “Rhode Island” on the front. He lay with his back on the couch, with his hands behind his head.
A few minutes later, he slowly pulled up his shirt, so that his belly button was exposed. Mackenzie could also see the ends of his ribcage when he would breathe in. And she also thought she could see his heart thumping away against the left side of his chest.
Levi is very thin-chested.
He took her right hand and put it against his chest, so that she could feel his strong heartbeat. He then covered her hand with his left hand, with both his and her hands flat against his chest.
Levi’s eyes were closed, and he was smiling. Mackenzie was also in an elated state herself. She leaned over to kiss him on the lips. When they started kissing, Mackenzie could feel Levi’s heart pounding. She knew his genuine love for her, and how they have successfully maintained their relationship for nearly 13 years.
Levi and Mackenzie will both be 27 years old this year.
Levi’s heart was very fast, yet mostly very steady. Mackenzie thought she may have felt her boyfriend’s heart skip a beat a couple times.
Her hand stayed on his chest, and he was perfectly alright with that. Her eyes were closed as well, and she envisioned hearing his heartbeat with every pulse.
His heart was pounding much harder now than during tennis practice, and it could possibly have burst in his chest if he wasn’t too careful.
Not like that would happen, though.
Both Levi and Mackenzie were elated, until they heard the door open. A few seconds later, Asad came inside the apartment and saw the couple on the couch in the common area.
“Okay, lovebirds. I’m home,” Asad announced.
“Shit, where’s Jack?” Levi responded, quickly pulling his shirt down.
“Oh, he’s out and about.”
“I thought you two were doing something together.”
“Jing and Kev were too tired. Besides, it’s too hot to do anything,” Asad replied.
“I agree,” Levi remarked.
“Jack should be coming home soon. Pizza tonight?”
“You beat me to the punch.”
“Levi’s heart nearly punched me in the hand,” Mackenzie blurted out. Levi’s face turned beet red, but he laughed it off. So did Asad.
Hello everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Today is the day where many people have their extended family over at their house for a huge meal, which typically consists of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. Afterwards, they may either watch sports on TV, play video games and/or board games, or do absolutely nothing else.
But that is not the case with my family. We are staying at our house today, since we don't have much family from around the area. And, although we are having the typical Thanksgiving dinner, we are most likely doing nothing else other than that.
Since it is Thanksgiving, you might be wondering how David Ingram's family (Rockybado), Andrew Grzedek's family (The Jazzy Island of Dinosaurs), and Levi Cranston's family (The Magic Video Game) celebrate Thanksgiving. Although they all celebrate Thanksgiving much differently, I'm more than certain that they still have a great time.
David Ingram comes from a small family. He only has four cousins on his mom's side. The Ingram's extended family is all from Northwest Indiana, so they all celebrate Thanksgiving together. Every year, the family goes to a different house to celebrate Thanksgiving, meaning that one year the Ingram's host, and another year, the Ingram's cousins' family hosts. Both sets of grandparents have also hosted. The Ingram's do not have a typical Thanksgiving. The Ingram's dad always cooks Italian food, including his very own homemade mostaccioli and tiramisu, to name a few things. David and Brody also help cook the Italian food. This has always been a tradition with the Ingram's and their extended family. After their feast, they all watch good and bad Christmas movies together.
Andrew Grzedek comes from a large family. He has many cousins on both sides of the family, most of whom are from Northwest Indiana. The family who does not live in Northwest Indiana is from around Chicago. The family members have a race to create a social media event page first to determine who is hosting the Thanksgiving party that year. Since Andrew moved to downtown Valparaiso in June 2014, he, two cousins, and a mutual friend from college have done a pre-Thanksgiving party. This consists of going out to eat at a restaurant on the square and then going to one or two bars. Then, for actual Thanksgiving, Andrew and the two cousins spend Thanksgiving with the family, and their mutual friend goes to his family's house (who also live in Valpo). The family has the typical Thanksgiving dinner, consisting of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Then, after the actual feast, some family members watch football, some play video games, some read, and others converse. The family celebrates Thanksgiving from Wednesday to Sunday.
Levi Cranston comes from a medium-sized family. He and his immediate family typically stay at home and celebrate Thanksgiving together, with the kids' grandparents and two half sisters and their family joining them. The Cranston's have family in either Northwest Indiana or Rhode Island. Sometimes, they have gone to other houses for Thanksgiving, but they normally like to stay at home. Levi celebrates Thanksgiving with his family on the actual day. On the day after, he goes out with his best friends and girlfriend and go bowling and explore downtown Valparaiso. Instead of having a turkey for Thanksgiving, the family has rotisserie chicken. The Cranston's grandma, on their dad's side, does not like turkey, so they have always liked the idea of replacing the turkey with rotisserie chicken. However, the rest of the Thanksgiving dinner is typical. After the feast, the family doesn't make many plans.
However YOU are celebrating Thanksgiving, enjoy the rest of it.
I'll be blogging again some time during the weekend.
You Know Who
We are almost at the end of 2018 (I can't believe it), and we are all wondering what we will end up doing next year. In fact, we are all wondering what we will end up doing next month. All things are quite possible. In case you are wondering, here is what everyone from each series is up to now.
* Dawson Ingram, the oldest of the five boys, is married to his wife, Daniela Ingram, and they adopted two girls, Olivia and Amelia. They live on the southwest side of Valparaiso, Indiana.
* Brett, the second oldest, lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his friends. His girlfriend, Olivia Cranston, and her best friend, moved to Brooklyn from Hoboken, New Jersey. Brett is a CPA and freelance musician.
* David Ingram lives in San Francisco with Andrew McCalsky and a couple other mutual friends. David is in school for his Master's in Cybersecurity, and Andrew works as an IT Administrator for a company in the heart of the city.
* Brody also lives in San Francisco, but he lives with his longtime girlfriend, Julia Jaconetti. Julia is an executive assistant for a financial firm, and Brody works as a web developer.
* Toby, the youngest, is still in college in Chicago. He is trying to decide if he wants to stay in Chicago after college, or if he wants to move to San Francisco, New York City, or Boston.
The Jazzy Island of Dinosaurs
* Andrew Grzedek is a social media manager for a company in Chicago. He lives in the Lincoln Park neighborhood with a few of his friends. His girlfriend, Eliza Colbert, lives in Wicker Park, so not too far away from him.
* Caleb, the second oldest, lives in San Francisco. He is a freelance musician and is also an office manager for a small consulting company.
* Adam and Cameron, who are twins, also live in San Francisco. They moved out there right after graduation from college and moved in with their older brother, Caleb. Both twins are engineers.
* Alyssa, the youngest, is getting ready to go to college. She plans to play tennis while away at school.
The Magic Video Game
* Louise Baranovsky, the oldest, is happily married to her husband, Brian Soriano, and they have three boys together. They live in downtown Valparaiso, Indiana.
* Elizabeth Baranovsky, the second oldest and youngest of the half siblings, is married to Paul Weiner. In 2016, they moved from Crown Point, Indiana to Philadelphia.
* Victoria Cranston, the oldest of the Cranston's, is married with two girls. She and her little family live a few blocks away from Victoria's parents and oldest half-sister.
* Olivia Cranston lives in Brooklyn, New York.
* Levi Cranston lives in Boston. His younger sister, Evelyn Maeve, is attending college in Boston next fall, and he could not be even more excited.
Stay tuned for my next Thanksgiving post!
You Know Who
As we all know, today is Thursday. But it's not just any Thursday. It just so happens to be Thursday, November 15th. We are EXACTLY one week away from Thanksgiving, and we are trying to get our turkeys in a row before all of our cousins seventeen times removed show up at our front door this time next week.
First of all, I want to go over a few more facts that no one has known about us from The Magic Video Game. What's going on in 2018.
* Levi Cranston started fourth grade in complete agony because he knew no one, and he was painfully shy at the time. He moved into a new school system.
* The school nurse introduced him to his now best friends, Jack Andrews, David Savino, Asad Prejesh, and Mackenzie Burbanks.
* Levi fell in love with his long-time girlfriend, Mackenzie, in sixth grade. Somehow, he knew that she was "the one" for him.
* Levi confirmed his own feelings for Mackenzie when he could feel her heart beating against his arm when it was wrapped around her chest.
* For their 10-year anniversary, Levi gave Mackenzie a stuffed teddy bear with a recording of his own heartbeat.
* On the day after Levi had his tonsils taken out, he spent the whole day crying because, first of all, he had extreme throat pain. Secondly, he thought Mackenzie only viewed him as a friend.
* Levi has always been working very hard to become more outgoing. It has definitely paid off in the long run.
* Adam Dahnwright bullied Levi in grade school because Adam also had feelings for Mackenzie, who obviously did not have feelings for Adam. Right before Levi moved to Boston in 2017, Adam apologized for his actions, and Levi forgave him.
* Adam is in a relationship with a girl named Maria, and they live in Bakersfield, California.
* Levi works in IT, and coaches tennis on the side. He, Mackenzie, Jack, and Asad live in Boston.
You Know Who
From The Magic Video Game 4: The Upbringing of a New Comedian
Levi and Mackenzie were sitting on a bench at the newest park in downtown Valparaiso. They had explored for about an hour and now wanted some time to just sit somewhere and think about life in general. Levi sat with his arms wrapped around Mackenzie. She sat close to him with her head on his shoulder. They didn't really want to converse right now. They were just in the mood for enjoying each other's company without having to say very much. Surprisingly enough, there weren't that many people at the park. It was not that bad of a day, so this was odd.
It was actually a nice day. A lot nicer of a day than a lot of people might give it credit for.
For Levi and Mackenzie, this might have made it a lot more romantic. The only other people at the park were a mom and her baby girl. Well, she isn't really a baby, more or less a toddler. This toddler, probably about three or four years old, was enjoying herself at the park. Her mother was probably hoping for a girls’ night out with a friend of hers. And Levi and Mackenzie were hoping that this mom and her child didn't mind them just sitting on the bench. In fact, the mom and kid would probably consider that boring. But Levi and Mackenzie didn't. They were having the time of their lives.
Right now, they just needed a break from it all.
Before they decided to sit on a bench at the park, they had gotten ice cream from their favorite ice cream parlor on Morgan and Lincolnway. Afterwards, they just wanted to walk around downtown. After all, Levi lives on the west side of downtown. And, even though Mackenzie lives closer to the high school, she was able to ride her bike to Levi's house. It was such a nice day to do so. And Levi and Mackenzie could walk from Levi's house on Elmhurst Avenue toward the city center. It isn't that far of a walk, so they were willing to do that anyway.
Levi and Mackenzie were still sitting on the bench. They still said nothing and enjoyed each other's company a little more. Who cared what the mom and kid thought?
"You having a good time?" Mackenzie asked Levi as she gently nudged him.
"Oh, absolutely," Levi replied.
"You are way too cute for your own good. I hope you know that."
"What else can I say?"
"Right. What else can you say?" Mackenzie teased.
"I can say a lot of things, but I can't think of anything at the moment," Levi answered.
"Are you having a brain freeze from that ice cream?"
"I never really thought about that. It was so good though."
"Yes, it was. You got horchata again, right?"
"Yes, my favorite. You got cake batter, right?"
"Yes, my favorite."
Levi and Mackenzie couldn't stop laughing at their own cheesy jokes. At least they both have a really good sense of humor. And everyone has thought that Levi and Jack are bad. And they have also thought that Levi and Rhody are worse. But Levi and Mackenzie could also make others laugh. And that is really all that would matter.
The two kids still sat on the bench, unsure of when they would continue their excursion. They might resume their excursion in thirty seconds. Or they might resume their excursion in thirty minutes. They had no idea what might be in store for them in that amount of time.
"What would you like to do now?" Levi asked his girlfriend of almost nine years.
"Anything," Mackenzie replied with a smile.
"Well, what exactly does that mean?"
"I'm open to anything. We could hit up that Spanish restaurant up the street and get some sangria."
"That sounds like a great idea," Levi remarked, taking Mackenzie's hand.
"My brothers love that stuff," Mackenzie replied.
"You once said that your oldest brother will come down to Valpo just to get this sangria?"
"No, not exactly the only reason. What I said was that this is the only place that he gets sangria."
"Oh, I must've heard wrong."
Once Levi and Mackenzie were holding each other's hand, there was a warm feeling from this. Mackenzie could also feel Levi's pulse through his hand. All this meant was that Levi is alive and well, and that would always be the case. The lady and her daughter left the park, and it was just Levi and Mackenzie there. This was a nice feeling because they could both sit at the park together at night, and this is what they've always wanted.
They didn't want to just sit here though. They wanted to explore a little more. All in all, this was more or less their "break time" from exploring downtown Valpo. They didn't say much for another ten minutes or so. And they were ready to go back on their adventure.
Levi and Mackenzie got up from the bench and headed east on Lincolnway toward Washington Street. Mackenzie was in the mood for sangria. Levi was in the mood for tapas and sangria. At least they had a mutual interest tonight. As long as they both had their sangria fix, that would be all that mattered to them tonight.
Levi was walking with his hands in his jeans pockets. Mackenzie was walking with her hand clutching her purse. Levi nudged Mackenzie on the arm with his arm, and Mackenzie reciprocated. It was more or less a game between the two of them. And there would be absolutely nothing wrong with that.
"So, Vicky and I played tennis earlier today, and something really funny happened," Levi remarked.
"What happened?" Mackenzie asked.
"You know how the courts are surrounded by that fence?"
"A ball got stuck in the fence," Levi said.
"Whoa! How does that happen?" Mackenzie replied.
"Magic, I guess."
"In my time of playing tennis, I have never had anything like that happen to me."
And Levi was absolutely right. He has never had something goofy like that happen to him before. However, a lot of his friends have experienced that. Now, it was his turn. And it was also Victoria's turn. Who knew that she could pull off something like that? Especially in her smaller experience in tennis. One would think that Levi would pull off something like that because he plays tennis all the time. But he has laughed at his friends who have pulled that off. It has always been funny to see a tennis ball stuck in a fence.
"Were you able to get the ball out of the fence?" Mackenzie asked.
"Well, we did eventually. But Vicky was, of course, taking pictures of it before I took it out," Levi replied.
"Was it hard to take it out of the fence?"
"Nah, not really. I just had to pull it out."
"And I didn't know Vicky was that good at tennis," Mackenzie stated.
"Actually, she is good. She played tennis for a year in high school and then she quit," Levi said.
"That was the same thing with my brother, Andrew. He played tennis in high school until he was a junior. He wanted to play for fun."
"I honestly love the competition."
"It's fun to watch you play."
"It's fun to play."
Levi and Mackenzie walked around the square for a bit. They didn't want sangria yet. They wanted to see what might be going on at night. Then, they would get their sangria fix. And they would also get their tapas fix. They walked side by side, with Mackenzie's right arm wrapped around Levi's left arm. They went back to not saying much. They went back to just enjoying each other's company. This was all they needed for now. And they were perfectly fine with this.
It was the perfect summer night to go out. There was a nice breeze. It wasn't too hot outside. It wasn't too cool either. It was around 70 degrees outside. There weren't a lot of people out, strangely enough. They were probably at the bars or eating at restaurants. Which meant that Levi and Mackenzie could take downtown Valparaiso at their leisure. They walked back around the new park. However, they didn't actually go back there.
"Levi?" Mackenzie got her boyfriend's attention after a while of not saying very much.
"Yeah?" Levi replied.
"I want to go to the mall soon."
"That would be great."
"I want a pair of those water show speakers like you have," Mackenzie remarked.
"I love those speakers," Levi said.
"I want a pair, and Andrew wants a pair."
"Strangely enough, I got that one pair on the same day as the accident."
"Oh, the one with you and Vicky involved?"
"Yes. But the speakers are still pretty great."
At least the water show speakers would serve Levi well. Even if they reminded him of a pretty scary time. The car accident wasn't even that bad. It was just a matter of a car getting rear-ended at most. But going to the mall is always fun, especially when looking for water show speakers. And going to another store to get t-shirts from their favorite rock bands and video games. And going to the food court to get food. Overall, the mall has always been a great hang-out place. And Levi and Mackenzie would definitely have gone tonight. But the mall would most likely close within an hour and a half.
With that in mind, Levi and Mackenzie decided not to go to the mall tonight. They still had their hearts set on getting sangria. Just because they were in the mood for it. The two kids walked toward the Spanish restaurant. To their surprise, they saw two people that they know very well. They were not coming out of the Spanish restaurant. They were just walking around and eating ice cream. They probably went to the same ice cream place as Levi and Mackenzie did. These two kids that Levi and Mackenzie know we're walking in the opposite direction as they were. Levi and Mackenzie ran into Victoria and her now-boyfriend, David Wolff.
"Fancy seeing you here," Levi remarked to his older sister of three years.
"I know. Small world, I guess," Victoria replied.
"What are you up to?"
"Just out and about with David."
"You got horchata ice cream, too?" Levi asked.
"Of course! My favorite," Victoria said.
"I convinced David to get the horchata ice cream as well."
"Where are you headed now?"
"David's brother's garage band is practicing, and we want to hear them perform. Where are you off to?"
"We are getting sangria."
Enough small talk for now. Victoria and her boyfriend, David, went off to his brother's garage band's practice. Levi and Mackenzie briefly thought about going to that as well. However, they don't know David's family too well. And, also, they were most definitely in the mood for sangria and tapas. Going to a garage band practice could wait for now. Levi and Mackenzie wanted to have some time to themselves, and they believed that sharing sangria would be ideal for them at the moment.
"Vicky’s known David since high school," Levi remarked as he and Mackenzie continued to walk toward the Spanish restaurant to get their sangria fix.
"I think my brother knows him," Mackenzie stated.
"Cool guy, but I don’t really know him. Vicky has always liked him."
"Yeah, didn't she have him over quite a few times back in the day?"
"I think she did," Levi replied.
"Yeah. I remember him. Is he also in a rock band?" Mackenzie asked.
"He's not, but his triplet brother is."
"What are his brothers' names?"
"Daniel and Derek."
"Do they look anything alike?"
"No, not really."
From The Magic Video Game 4: The Upbringing of a New Comedian
Levi continued to play video games with the younger nephews. Even though Evelyn Maeve was in the same room as them, she didn't play video games. She wanted to watch them play, as well as sit with Duchess and Prussia, the family's cats. Duchess was sitting on Evelyn Maeve's lap. And Prussia was sitting by her right side. Evelyn Maeve was waiting for everyone to decide what they wanted to do. Levi was more focused on the game that he was playing. And the two younger nephews were amazed at what they were watching Levi do on the TV. But they needed to make a decision on what they wanted to do as soon as possible. At least Evelyn Maeve thought this to be the case.
"Levi, what are we doing?" Evelyn Maeve asked.
"Ice cream," Levi replied, still focused on his game.
"Okay. When are we going?"
"I'm going to finish up this round, and then we'll go."
"How long will that take?" Evelyn Maeve asked.
"When pigs can fly," Levi replied half-heartedly.
"Well, we're still trying to figure out how to make pigs fly."
"You know what I'm thinking?"
"Horchata ice cream."
At that, Levi dropped everything that he did and got up to put his shoes on. That had to work for Levi, and Evelyn Maeve knew it would. The other kids were excited as well. Olivia was just okay with getting out of the house for a while with their mom. They were both getting their hair cut today, so they were most definitely looking forward to the mother-daughter bond time that they would have. Then, they would most likely go in town and have lunch at one of the restaurants on Lincolnway. For them, today was going to be good as well. They were not going to leave until 12:30, and it was only 11:30. Levi, Evelyn Maeve, and the three nephews were planning to leave at noon. Their plan was to eat a quick lunch at the house, and then they would head out to the other side of downtown.
"What do you guys want for lunch?" Levi asked everyone.
"Wanna just make cheese sandwiches out of that French bread that we need to use up?" Evelyn Maeve inquired, trying to sound more grown up.
"That sounds good to me. We should have enough."
"We have enough of those bread rolls that will feed us and then some, and then again...."
"Very funny, Evie Maeve," Levi remarked, shaking his head.
"You'll want two sandwiches, right?" Evelyn Maeve asked with a smile.
"You and that saying."
"I've had that saying for a while now."
"I know you have."
Levi wanted to make the sandwiches, since he has a certain way of making them that he likes. He cut the six bread rolls in half and put provolone, mozzarella, and asiago cheese between the halves. He made one for Evelyn Maeve, the three nephews, and two for himself. He was just that hungry so he knew he'd want more than just one sandwich. He also took the carton of milk and poured everyone a glass of milk, assuming that was what they'd want. Once Levi made the sandwiches for everyone, he had everyone sit at the table and eat lunch. The three nephews were goofy, as usual. Evelyn Maeve and Levi couldn't help but laugh at them trying to create as many bubbles as possible by blowing into the milk through the straw. Back in the heyday, Levi and Evelyn Maeve both did that with their milk. And they thought it'd be funny to try it now.
"How many bubbles can I make?" Lemmy asked everyone.
"I see ten," Levi half-joked.
"Wanna try, Wevi?"
"No, thanks. I'm good."
"You should make some milk bubbles!" Lemmy exclaimed.
"Maybe not right now," Levi replied. He is a craft beer enthusiast.
"Want to get ice cream now, since everyone is done with lunch?"
The five kids left the house and walked toward the city square. Evelyn Maeve was making some goofy small talk with the nephews. Levi was listening in on what they were saying and couldn't help but laugh to himself. The kids walked from Elmhurst Avenue to Chestnut Street, which took them to Campbell, then taking that to Lincolnway. The kids walked a ways on Lincolnway until they reached Morgan Boulevard and Lincolnway. Then, they all knew where they were. The kids were more than excited to go to the ice cream parlor. Evelyn Maeve was excited to get horchata ice cream. And Levi was also excited to get horchata ice cream. They were hoping to make this order simple for everyone.
"Hello!" The person behind the counter greeted everyone in a friendly manner.
"Hello," Levi replied.
"What can I get for you today?"
"I would like two orders of horchata ice cream in the waffle cone, and three orders of cake batter in a waffle cone."
"I WANT HORCHATA ICE CREAM!" Lemmy shouted excitedly.
"Okay, three orders of horchata and two orders of cake batter," Levi replied.
"Will that be all for you then?" The person behind the front counter asked.
"Caleb wants vanilla!" Lemmy shouted.
"Okay. Sorry about this. Three orders of horchata, one order of vanilla, and one order of cake batter," Levi said.
"That is fine. Will that be all for you?"
"Yes, for now."
Levi paid for their orders, and when they got their ice cream, they all sat at a table by the door. The young nephews were shoving the ice cream in their mouths. Levi was amused at what their nephews were doing. Evelyn Maeve was also amused at them. Levi and Evelyn Maeve were just enjoying their horchata ice cream. Lemmy and his two younger brothers were enjoying their ice cream and being goofy little kids. They all sat in the ice cream parlor for another thirty minutes. Levi walked back up to the front counter and asked for a cup of water. Then, they were all ready to head out. The three kids wanted to go back to the house. And, as a matter of fact, so did Levi and Evelyn Maeve.
The five kids took Morgan Boulevard from Lincolnway up to Chicago Street, which would take them to Elmhurst Avenue. A walk like this would last about twenty minutes. Evelyn Maeve was making more small talk with the three boys. Levi stayed amused at the conversation that was going on between everyone else. He was texting Jack on the way home because they were hoping to get a tennis practice in this evening. He wasn't too sure if this would happen though, since Jack might already have had plans. David knew that he couldn't practice tonight, and Asad said maybe. Mackenzie, Levi’s girlfriend, knew she couldn't because she was visiting her grandparents tonight. Then, it would most likely just be Jack and Levi practicing tennis tonight.
"Yo, are you gonna play tennis tonight?" Levi asked his best friend via text.
"Yo. Not too sure. Might have plans tonight," Jack replied via text.
"I know. This happened last minute."
"What's up, man?" Levi questioned.
"My cousin's dad has a wedding shower in St. John," Jack answered.
"Hope it's fun, if you go."
"We are still debating."
"Why wouldn't you go?"
"We're not sure."
It wasn't too long before Levi, Evelyn Maeve, and the nephews returned to the house on Elmhurst Avenue. Twenty minutes later, they were finally home. Levi wanted to play video games. Their nephews wanted to watch him play. Evelyn Maeve made herself some peppermint tea. She felt like having tea now, so she went for that so-called “temptation.” Levi was too focused on his game, so he wouldn't want tea right now. And the three nephews didn't want milk or anything. Once she was done making her tea, she walked back to the common area and watched Levi try to beat his game. He was that focused.
"DANG IT! I MISSED!" Levi shouted at the top of his lungs.
"How?" Evelyn Maeve asked.
"I tried hitting the ship from the side. Oh well."
"How many more tries do you have?"
"Oh, I dunno," Levi replied, feeling slightly discouraged.
"How long have you been playing this game?" Evelyn Maeve questioned.
"A while. I should've been able to beat it by now."
"Have you ever beaten it?"
"With a baseball bat? No."
Levi is sweet as can be; he is a master at sarcasm. He can pull off sarcasm very well, especially on his family and friends. He knew that was not what Evelyn Maeve was asking. But Levi wanted to lighten the mood and make everyone laugh. The little nephews would probably not have gotten the joke. They were too busy watching Levi play video games anyway. So they probably weren't even listening. A few minutes later, Levi lost the game, and he quit playing. Now, the nephews wanted him to read a book to them. So Levi picked out the most difficult to read science fiction novel that he could find in the bookshelf by the TV.
Once he sat back down on the couch, the three nephews sat next to him. Levi opened the book and started reading everything in goofy voices. The three nephews were amused that they could listen to their fun uncle read something much over their head. And Evelyn Maeve was amused that Levi was enjoying himself while reading that book in funny voices. All in all, an interesting way to spend a summer afternoon. It was 2:36 in the afternoon, and Louise was most likely coming around 4:30, so Levi had enough time to continue his reading. And Evelyn Maeve had enough time to collect more “stories” for her social media app. Levi continued to read as much of the book as he could in all different kinds of voices. The time seemed to go by very quickly with all of that going on.
And then Levi heard a knock on the door.
Only he didn't answer the door. He had his hands tied up with the reading and such. Evelyn Maeve answered the door. It was Louise, and things must have been going well for her husband's sister. The kids' mom and Olivia were going to be home around five o'clock in the evening. The kids' dad ended up making a stop in Crown Point to visit Elizabeth, the kids' other half-sister, and her husband, Paul Weiner. Evelyn Maeve made some small talk with Louise. The three nephews heard their mom's voice and clung to Levi's arms. They were having a great time here with Levi. They obviously did not want to leave yet.
Louise had been talking to everyone else. Levi continued to play video games with his nephews, who were still trying to cling to his arms. They were just watching him try to beat the level that he was on. And Evelyn Maeve was also watching them. This was quite entertaining for a little while.
"Boys, time to go home," Louise shouted toward the common area.
"NOOOOOO!!!!" Lemmy shouted.
"David Lemster Baranovsky-Soriano, we have family friends coming over tonight."
"But I want to stay with Wevi!"
That was most definitely not enough coaxing for Lemmy. He was hoping to stay at the Cranston's house and watch Levi play video games. And Evelyn Maeve was pretty fun as well. Lemmy was having a great time. And so were his two little brothers.
Levi finished his video game, and Lemmy jumped up in his arms. Caleb Ogden wanted Levi to carry him as well. When he walked toward Louise, who was in the kitchen, he was carrying Lemmy in one arm and Caleb in the other arm. Andrew Harrison was with Evelyn Maeve in the common area. This was going to be interesting.
"Looking for these knuckleheads?" Levi asked his oldest sister.
"Yes!" Louise exclaimed.
"You might want to get them, or they might decide to come with me."
"What would they do at your get-together? Just curious," Levi remarked. Lemmy's head was pressed firmly against Levi's chest.
"Yeah, I guess I see where you're going," Louise said.
"Would it be cool if I had them for another few hours?"
"If you say so. Just don't get them too excited about fried chicken."
"Don't worry. I will."
From The Magic Video Game 4: The Upbringing of a New Comedian
It was around 9:15 in the morning, and Levi just woke up. He got ready for the day and then walked downstairs to the dining room table. He didn't eat anything yet. Instead, he put his head in his arms, which were resting on the table and tried to fall back asleep. He had no idea why he woke up so early. This was most definitely not right for him. And it was most definitely not right for anyone else in the house. Everyone was at home at the moment. The parents were conversing in the common area. Olivia was with them. And Evelyn Maeve was trying to keep Levi company.
Somehow, Levi was able to fall back asleep at the table. When Evelyn Maeve knew about this, she went into the common area to be with everyone else. Everyone knows that Levi is not a morning person. And, because of this, they knew not to bother him. But the two family cats, Duchess and Prussia, didn't know that. They both got up on the table and rubbed their faces against Levi's arms. Levi didn't move. He was sound asleep. However, he heard the home phone ring, which was by his left arm. He slowly grabbed the phone without moving his head, and he answered it in the nick of time.
"Hello?" Levi answered sleepily on his end. He was so surprised that he could hear the phone ring.
"Hi, Levi. You just woke up?" Louise asked.
"Yes, I did."
"Sorry I woke you up."
"What time is it?" Levi asked, half-awake. Louise knew that, in her little brother's voice, he had just woken up.
"It is 9:30," Louise replied.
"Oh wow. It's so early."
"For me, it is."
Levi was still on the phone with Louise. However, he had no idea how well he could converse with his oldest half-sister. Given the fact that he was half-awake and was trying to fall asleep. Levi had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. But Louise wasn't nearly as confused. She just knew that Levi was just now "getting out of bed." Levi knew that he wanted to go back to bed. And no one would be able to dispute that. Not on Levi's terms. He would know that for sure.
"I was calling because I will need one of you guys to babysit my kids," Louise said.
"When?" Levi asked, fighting to wake up.
"Around noon, if that would work."
"So, what's up?"
"My sister-in-law has an emergency," Louise answered.
"Everything okay?" Levi asked.
"It will be. She needs to have her appendix taken out, we think."
"Been there, done that."
"That is true."
"She'll have a great time, that's for sure."
Levi then got off the phone with Louise. There was absolutely no way that he'd be able to go back to sleep. It was probably good that he couldn't. Louise's sons, David Lemster, or Lemmy, Caleb Ogden Brian, and Andrew Harrison, would be here within an hour, and Levi needed to be awake for them. Primarily because of how rowdy they really can be. Evelyn Maeve has kept them in line in the past. However, a fourteen-year-old girl couldn't do everything by herself. Sometimes she would need a little help from her brother. And he was perfectly okay with spending at least some time with them. He has actually helped calm them down in the past.
Evelyn Maeve somehow realized that Levi was now awake. He still had his head in his arms, which were resting on the table. But his adopted sister knew that he couldn't be sleeping now. With that in mind, she walked over to the dining room table and stayed with Levi to keep him company. She was actually excited about their nephews coming over. Levi wasn't as excited. He was more excited about going upstairs and falling asleep on his futon. But then again, maybe not. He probably wouldn't be able to do such a thing at this hour. Rather, it would be a better idea to converse with Evelyn Maeve.
"Morning, Levi," Evelyn Maeve said as she came into the room.
"Morning, Evie Maeve," Levi replied, still sleepily.
"Our nephews are coming today."
"Yes, at noon."
"That will be nice to have them over," Evelyn Maeve commented.
"For the most part, yes. But they can be a bit of a handful, especially Lemmy," Levi remarked.
"True. Lemmy can be very rowdy.
"And he's nearly eight years old."
"Eight year olds can be so rowdy though."
"Oh, I know."
Levi still didn't want to get up right now. He was okay with their nephews coming over. But he has always hated the mornings. But mornings have always loved him. This was a total catch 22 for Levi. He and Evelyn Maeve wanted to spend time with the little nephews, but they wanted some more time to get ready for the day. The idea that their nephews were coming over motivated Levi to wake up more quickly.
He got ready for the day, and then he came back downstairs. Levi saw Olivia sitting at the dining room table. He wasn't quite sure what she was doing at first, so he left her alone. Levi made himself another sandwich. He was hungry again. Then, after he quickly ate his sandwich, he forgot to make his bed. Before doing anything else, he ran upstairs to do that. Then, he knew that his nephews would come any time soon. He had to come back downstairs. And he thought he needed to come back downstairs soon.
"Hi, Olivia," Levi said as he walked downstairs.
"Hey," Olivia replied, finishing a novel.
"What are you reading?"
"I think I read that book once," Levi stated.
"You did?" Olivia replied, looking up at Levi.
"If I can remember correctly."
"It's a great book. You should read it again!"
"I probably will, but I'm not much of a reader."
"Me neither, but I love murder mystery."
A few minutes later, Levi heard a knock on the door. He ran toward the door to open it. But he tripped and fell to the floor. Hard. Olivia ran toward the door to open it. But she tripped on Levi and fell to the floor. Hard. Then, their mom helped Olivia and Levi get up, and she walked toward the door to open it. She couldn't quite understand why they would think they'd need to run to the door. Maybe they wanted to see their nephews that badly. At least neither Olivia nor Levi was hurt. But neither of them could get to the door in time.
Louise was standing at the front door with her children, waiting to come in. She has a key to the house, but she somehow left it at home. With this in mind, she would need someone to let her in today. Even though Olivia and Levi were not seriously injured, they were embarrassed and amused, all at the same time. And their mom was also amused. She opened the door for her first daughter and kids.
"Hello!" Mrs. LeVole, their mom, greeted Louise at the door.
"Hello!" Louise greeted back.
"So, you're handing over your kids for a while?"
"Yes. Brian's sister needs her appendix out, and we were going to see them."
"Hope everything will be alright with them," Mrs. LeVole remarked.
"She is going to get surgery in forty-five minutes, and she'll be in Merrillville," Louise said.
"Yes. We caught it early."
"Things like that you never know will happen."
After they all came into the house, Mrs. LeVole and her oldest daughter, Louise, were conversing at the dining room table. Olivia and Evelyn Maeve were drawing cartoons with Lemmy. And Levi was sitting on the floor in the common area with the two younger twin boys. Mr. Cranston, the kids’ dad, was going to be home in about an hour, as he was coming in from Chicago. So he would be able to make goofy voice impressions to everyone once he'd come home. Levi wanted to play video games, and the two younger boys wanted to watch him. Andrew Harrison was interested in a stethoscope, which was somehow lying on the floor. Who would have done something with this? Levi probably couldn't remember what someone might have used the stethoscope for. But the one twin wanted to try it out.
"What is this?" Andrew Harrison asked Levi.
"It's called a stethoscope. You put the round piece on your chest, and you can listen to your heartbeat with it. Wanna try it out?" Levi offered.
A few moments later....
"I can't hear anything!" Andrew Harrison exclaimed when he had the round piece on his chest but didn't have the ear pieces in.
"You don't have the ear pieces in," Levi replied.
"Can you help me?"
Levi gently put the ear pieces in the little kid's ears. Then, he took the round piece and put it on the little kid's chest. Levi couldn't help but watch his nephew get so interested in hearing his own heart beating. After all, he is pretty little, so he probably couldn't remember hearing it before. Caleb Ogden seemed uninterested. He would rather be playing video games than trying something new. He watched, but he didn't participate. Andrew Harrison, who was interested, then put the round piece on Levi's chest. Levi was perfectly okay with this, after being so afraid of his heartbeat at a young age. Since he has been dating Mackenzie, he outgrew that fear.
Levi closed his eyes when his nephew was listening to his heartbeat. There wasn't any reason, he just felt relaxed at this point. Andrew Harrison put the round piece everywhere on his chest because he's only a little kid and doesn't know any better. This had been going on for about two minutes, and then Andrew Harrison was a little sick and tired of listening to heartbeats. Right now, Levi didn't really care to listen to his own heart beating. He just wanted to continue playing video games. And so did Caleb Ogden. Andrew Harrison was sitting on the couch staring into space. However, he didn't see any aliens. That would've been weird.
"What should we do?" Evelyn Maeve asked Levi out of the blue. She had just walked into the common area from the kitchen.
"We're just playing video games at the moment," Levi replied.
"Well, I was thinking later."
"There are lots of things for us to do with the kids."
"Yes. Lots," Evelyn Maeve repeated.
"What were you thinking?" Levi asked, still focused on his video game.
"Ice cream. Cupcakes. Cream soda. Anything else sugary."
"Whatever floats your boat."
"We can decide later."
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My blog contains anything and everything one should know about my books. Aaaaand a lot more as well.