She never gets bored when President’s Day rolls around. And many Pittsburghers have learned to look for her tweets from @EleanorsTrouser Twitter account on the third Monday of February.
Being a federal government employee, she’s one of the lucky people in Pittsburgh to have this Monday off. She is staying busy tweeting little-known facts about U.S. presidents. She wanted to remain anonymous, so we've promised to respect her wish, but here’s what you need to know about the person behind Eleanor's Trousers.
The Eleanor’s Trousers Twitter account evolved from the blog with the same name.
She’s always been a huge Eleanor Roosevelt fan, and when looking for a catchy tagline for her blog eight years ago, a witty quote by the former First Lady stood out:
“No, I have never wanted to be a man. I have often wanted to be more effective as a woman, but I have never felt that trousers would do the trick!”
She lives in Lawrenceville and works in a federal agency’s human resources office. She moved to Pittsburgh more than a decade ago after growing up in Atlanta, where her mother teaches U.S. history.
Perhaps this is your first Presidents Day with me? Here's a sampling from the inaugural celebration in 2012: http://t.co/qUoZy0nTOs— Eleanor's Trousers (@eleanorstrouser) February 17, 2014
When she decided to start tweeting random facts about U.S. presidents on this day in 2012, they were generally easy to come by.
“I actually have a decent collection of history books at home. Being a daughter of a history teacher, you tend to end up with biographies and other histories,” she said.
The rest of the facts she finds on Google and keeps on her phone. The jokes, though, are spontaneously paired with facts in her tweets.
George Washington's inaugural speech lasted 2 minutes and was 133 words long. I have written longer blog posts about jeans. #presidentsday— Eleanor's Trousers (@eleanorstrouser) February 17, 2014
Madison was the smallest President at 5'4"- he never weighed over 100 lbs. I am shorter than him, but... well, I'm shorter #presidentsday— Eleanor's Trousers (@eleanorstrouser) February 17, 2014
In 2012, it was more spontaneous, as she went about furiously finding facts on the fly. Since then, she’s begun stockpiling here and there.
“I do enjoy the history,” she said. “I don’t so much tweet to be political about one president or the other. I think it’s interesting to see different times and strange quirks.”
Rutherford Hayes banned alcohol from the White House and held nightly gospel sing-alongs. I have also been to dull parties. #presidentsday— Eleanor's Trousers (@eleanorstrouser) February 17, 2014
Americans often see past presidents’ portraits and think only of the political events of their era, she said.
“But they all had interesting lives and were all humans,” she said. “Some of them better humans than others.”
For fun, Calvin Coolidge pressed all the buttons on his desk and hid when his staff ran in. I get bored at work, too. #presidentsday— Eleanor's Trousers (@eleanorstrouser) February 17, 2014
As long as Twitter and presidential trivia are around, she said, she'll keep this up. Her personal favorite? This one, about Andrew Jackson's profane parrot.
Pres. Jackson's pet parrot was ejected from his funeral because she wouldn’t stop swearing. I want a swearing parrot at mine. #presidentsday— Eleanor's Trousers (@eleanorstrouser) February 18, 2013
Valentine’s Day can be stressful, filled with big expectations and sometimes unexpected, therefore, bigger disappointments.
We asked our readers about the worst gifts they have ever received on Feb. 14.
Here are their stories:
“My ex-boyfriend got me two things for our first (and only) Valentine's Day together. In one gift bag he put a piece of lingerie and a box of sockets. Yes, sockets. Like the kind you would use for working on a car or something. He said that he bought them because I didn't have any.” – Patti, 32
“Don’t get your girlfriend a kitchen appliance, apparently.” – Mike, 35
“My girlfriend once got me a gift card to her favorite store so that I could pick her something out. Now I’m sure you’re thinking something-sexy right? Her favorite store is Pier 1.” – Andrew, 23
“I thought I was being sweet and bought my girlfriend a pair of diamond earrings that she really wanted. Unfortunately I didn’t think about the fact that they came in a small, blue velvet box that I would be giving to her on the most romantic day of the year. The waiter just shook his head at me.” – Alex, 28
“I made a comment to my husband that my office chair at work got stuck when I tried to move and that I requested a new one from the company, but got no response. So he bought me an office chair for Valentine’s Day.” – Katelyn, 25
“My college girlfriend got me a scented candle and boxers that said, ‘taken’ on them. My roommates wouldn’t let me live it down for months.” –Mike, 24
“My fiancé once gave me a card that wasn’t signed, and still in the drug store plastic bag. ” – Shannon, 31
“My boyfriend and I are huge Pirates fans. He once got me a ticket to a Pirates game. Not tickets, just one. He had to work that day and thought I would be all right just going alone.” –Amanda, 24
What’s the worst Valentine’s Day gift you’ve ever received?
Overheard snippets of conversation between a young couple on the train yesterday morning (with an explanation of why it's relevant to follow):
"You'd better shape up or ship out. If you don't shape up in a couple days, I'm outta here."
(Jealous words follow about the chat rooms each of them have been visiting, including the ones she visited while he was serving time in jail.)
"..I'm tired of waking up and seeing that look on your face."
"So don't wake me up."
"You can't get a job if you sleep all day. I'm gonna get a job, take some responsibility."
Lost souls, to be sure, and in more than one way. It's hard to know which comes first -- broken relationships, verbal abuse, bleak job prospects, made all the bleaker by the stigma of a criminal record, and a desperation too raw to conceal among strangers. So what does this have to do with popular belief?
Only a fool would try to break into an argument like that and start an interview -- though I was tempted, because I wanted to ask if either of them has a connection to any religious congregation. That may sound beside the point. It isn't.
It's commonly believed that the growth in people with no religious affiliation is taking place among the elites -- people with too much education or money or both to need religion. But actually, it's growing more among the have-nots.
There might not be enough of it to cover the roads, but there sure is enough to ruin your shoes. Keeping warm is a must, of course, but looking good is a plus.
So here are a few tips to keep your winter attire looking top-notch.
Removing salt stains from leather
The dreaded salt ring around the shoe is like a plague to Pittsburghers. Instead of buying over-priced shoe cleaner, simply make a half water, half vinegar mix, add a squirt of lemon juice, and a splash of either baby oil or conditioner in a spray bottle to restore moisture. Take a wash cloth and rub off the stain in a circular motion. I keep a bottle of this magic cleaner and a cloth in my work bag for on the go. When you get home, rub a lemon on the shoe and wipe it down for protection.
Misshaped or dirty suede
Suede is great, but it can be a bit more stubborn and takes more effort to remove road-salt stains. You will need a cloth, soft tooth brush, dish detergent and cold water. Use a dab of dish detergent and wet the cloth thoroughly. Dab the stained area with the cloth and while wet, use a toothbrush to scrub the area in a circular motion. After you finish, stuff the shoe with newspaper to keep the shape and let it dry naturally.
Cleaning Fleece Jackets
Everyone who has tried to wash a fleece jacket will notice that with each wash the fleece loses its softness and begins to form little clumps of fur on the jacket. You can prevent this from happening by turning the jacket inside out and washing it solo. After the wash finishes, run it through once more on the rinse cycle and then let it dry naturally on a hanger while still inside out.
Removing stains from wool
During the cold winter months, at least once a week I can ensure one coffee or make-up stain on my jacket or scarf. Try to treat the stain immediately. With a clean cloth, blot the stain — never rub it — until you get most of the stain removed. When you get home, spray with stain remover and wash in cold water. Do not wash in warm or hot water because the heat can set the stain.
Caring for Cashmere
Cashmere is gorgeous and can be a great investment for any wardrobe. Always hand-wash cashmere in cold water. You can use Woolite, though I prefer baby shampoo because it’s gentle and makes the material extra smooth. Always keep cashmere in a lump when it is wet, because picking it up and hanging it will stretch it out. Lay flat to dry.