By Alissa Lawton Special to Published Mar 14, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Maybe I’m getting old. Maybe I just realized that winter is going to end one of these days and I’m not going to want to look like I did after the binge season some call the holidays, but Fridays have recently been dedicated to the gym and actually getting some decent sleep.

I’m not talking every Friday but, is it just me or is a lazy Friday night once in a while not such a terrible idea? Alright, even saying that made me feel a little boring.

I did do something this weekend I haven’t done in a long time … and that I’m not really proud to admit to. I went tanning. Alright, before you start judging me, listen to my justification. I’m going to Playa del Carmen in a couple weeks and, in my experience, when an English / Irish gal from Wisconsin heads anywhere vaguely sunny during the months of October through May, her skin melts on arrival. I don’t want that.

I’m past the age where I’m stupid enough to tan for vanity. I live in the Midwest, I know I’m not kidding anyone sporting an orange-hued tan while there is still snow on the ground, I don’t want skin cancer and I don’t want premature wrinkles. But I also know better than to show up in Mexico without a decent base going. It sounds a little ass-backwards but this little pre-tanning is going to save me from a world of hurt and losing the top twenty layers of my skin. That’s my excuse and I’m stickin’ to it.

We’d decided it would be a blast to get Black Keys tickets for their show at Summerfest. We headed down to the gate at 11 a.m. Saturday morning and, I’m happy to report, got amazing seats. Duh! Winning! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.) It was definitely bizarre to see the grounds covered in snow and ice. Hard to believe in just a few short months we’ll all be down there people watching in the summer heat. Anyone else going to the Black Keys?

Afterward we needed to warm up so we headed to Stack'd. I’d never been before so I was thrilled to be checking out a potential new fave spot. It was not busy when we walked in, maybe 20 people in the whole joint, but it filled up really quickly after we sat down.

Perhaps a little too quickly. We never got a clear explanation but, after ordering, it literally took no less than an hour and a half to get our food. Luckily those of us that stayed had nowhere to be for a few hours, but one of our friends had to cancel her order and leave long before the food was even put on the grill.

Once the food finally arrived, all agreed, it was really good. I ordered the vegan scramble which was very good and not what I expected. It was spicier than many vegan breakfast items I’ve had, and full of hearty, wintry veggies.

Almost everybody else at the table ordered burgers and, maybe it was because we’d been sitting for two hours drinking mimosas waiting for our food, but no one had complaints when the plates made it to the table.

Our waitress was apologetic, she comped a few of our drinks and we’re all reasonable people, we know stuff happens, but it was pretty disappointing to not have either more of the food comped or get a free round.

I’m always wary when people say they want to have a "game night." Ugh. Game night? Really? But without a doubt within a half hour, I’m the one screaming and getting way too into whatever stupid game we’re playing.

It’s hard to play games like Taboo and Celebrity with people you have never met before. There is definitely something to be said about how friendships play into the success of a gaming team. If you’ve never played Celebrity before, first of all, you must, because it’s hilarious, and second, it always pays to know the people you are on a team with because the little goofy things you know about each other somehow always come into play.

My roommate purchased everything I love from Whole Foods and I ate more than my share. She was clearly under the impression that a few hundred people were showing up for a couple rousing battles of Taboo.

I haven’t been to a Bucks game all season so, even though I was dog tired on Sunday night, there was no way I was missing free tickets to the game. It’s really odd but when I’m sitting in the nose bleed seats the court looks huge and the players look like high schoolers.

This game we had great seats. I could see the sweat dripping off Brandon Jennings but the court looked tiny. When you’re close enough that you don’t feel like you may as well be watching the game on TV you realize how huge these guys are. The court looks downright crowded when they’re out there.

Another odd aspect to this particular game was that either I didn’t realize there was such a large Bostonian relocation here in Milwaukee or there was a Celtics fan bus tour going through town. Maybe they’re just louder than we are but it felt like we were almost outnumbered.

The Bucks lost, which sucks, but I’m glad I made it to at least one game this year. Spring seems to want to peek through the clouds, but until then, I’m so looking forward to crossing the border to do absolutely nothing on a beach for a couple days.

I’m definitely ready to give Stack'd another shot someday soon in the hopes that the kitchen was just having an off day. The menu was much more diverse than I’d expected and I can’t walk away without trying some of the other delish looking veggie options.

Alissa Lawton Special to

Alissa grew up on the near west side of Madison and had childhood dreams of being a veterinarian. Instead she moved to Milwaukee to attend college and attained a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from UW-Milwaukee. Previously an advertising copywriter and a marketing specialist, Alissa always preferred the writing aspect of her career.

An animal lover, a shoe lover and a white wine lover, she now resides on the much beloved East Side of Milwaukee in what she describes as an ancient apartment building full of character, but lacking sufficient electrical outlets and the convenience of an elevator.

To some she comes across as a shy wall flower, to those that know her much better she is a social butterfly, usually overdressed and wearing inappropriately uncomfortable shoes for nearly every occasion. Either way you choose to see her, Alissa has a strong desire to bring awareness to the social issues in our city while maintaining a sense of humor about herself and surroundings.