Sunday, January 4, 2015

In Apple We Trust

Dear Mr. Cook:

I've been in transit, holding up my share of the Feliz Anos celebration, and otherwise unable to attend more than cursorily to our progress toward trillionness. I'm afraid it's going to have to be like that for the next few months or so. But I have total trust in your ability to get us through 2015 Q1 with excellent results.

Mio dios, there's so much to look forward to--the move to the NYSE, the pricing of our dividend (please drop a hint or two Luca's way that there's no such thing as "too generous" in this regard), the release of the iWatch, the continued triumph of Apple Pay, and all the deep dark machinations that will make the sale of actual gadgets and wearables in time icing on the capitalist cake. (My favorite is the Frasier.)

President Rafael Correa, as I'm sure you know, is shopping for a new currency. Maybe have Phil send him a Powerpoint...? If you need me to help smooth the way the bus to Quito takes about 4 hours from where I am, and I'm happy to help. Oh wow, now I sound like that buttinsky Carl Icahn. The nerve of him sending you letters and offering unsolicited advice...oh..wait...well....never mind. But do ignore him please, he's a billionaire, ergo evil, and I've seen iguanas in the Galapagos that have more appeal. And morality. And dignity.

Born in 1936, this piece of human garbage is past life expectancy. With an estimated net worth of $20b, he's still apparently too cheap to buy a nose hair clipper!

When I can I'll peek at the stock price in full knowledge that you'll deploy the cash much is it now? $150 billion...and keep our floor secure if need be. But I doubt it will be.

I'll try and be back in the saddle by the first of April, I hope not feeling the slightest bit foolish. Make us proud in 2015, Mr. Cook.

¡Hasta la próxima! 

Frances Madeson 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Apple Product Placement II

Dear Mr. Cook:

How great to find out you're such a fan of contemporary literature--up $1.98 today to $113.99!

Whenever I can I'll bring you worthwhile excerpts of delightful and intriguing literary writing with sublime Apple product placement.

This brief passage is three pages into Apple Seized, Chapter One, Part One of Edmond Caldwell's debut novel Human Wishes/Enemy Combatant. The only thing you need to know is that Edmond has made a commitment to a certain kind of sentence. Here goes:

"He knew he looked rumpled and unshaven, but he thought he might also look exotic and attractive in a world-weary way, at least for a man of his age. He had gotten some sun on the trip. Of course she would have to be into men his age. But probably he looked like a Middle Eastern terrorist instead of a Mediterranean lover. It didn't matter because he couldn't locate the attractive passenger among those at the carousel. Perhaps, like his wife, she was resting somewhere while a male partner fetched the bags, though it had been his impression that she had been traveling solo. He could see his wife, however, if he raised himself onto his toes. There she was with her Mac open on her lap. She had to be back at work early the next morning. He saw his wife set her laptop onto the vacant seat to her right and begin to take her sweater off. It had been cold on the plane when she put the sweater on. They had been in their seats--unfortunately the middle seats of the center aisle--so he'd had to help tug the sweater down her back, he remembered. Now his wife was on a different set of seats, against one wall of the baggage claim area instead of in the center aisle of the plane, and she wanted to take the sweater off. The seat on the other side of his wife was occupied by an older woman who leaned away so that she wouldn't be struck by flailing elbows as his wife struggled with the sweater over her head. As the sweater came up, the blouse clung to it and his wife's midriff and even the cups of her brassiere were exposed. He thought that the older woman in the next seat had a disapproving expression on her face, although at this distance he couldn't tell for sure."
Yours sincerely,

Frances Madeson


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Apple Product Placement

Dear Mr. Cook: 

So my Christmas gift for you (and for me, too!) is a brief excerpt from Chapter I of Cooperative Village. I am getting such a kick out of thinking about you reading it and trying to pronounce some of the Yiddishisms, however kookily improbable that scenario is. It's just funny. The whole situation. Me writing you every day after market close, and now even on a national holiday. 

So no set up needed other than Frances has just laundered her dead neighbor. She had her reasons.

Please enjoy the rhythm, I hope it makes you smile.

Merry and jolly,

Frances Madeson
View of Grand Street showing 26 years of cooperative development: Amalgamated Dwellings (1930) in the foreground with two of the Hillman Housing buildings (1947-50) behind it. One of the East River Housing towers (1953-56) in the background. Not far beyond the trees on the left out of frame is the Management Office where this fictional scene takes place. This is Grand Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

[Excerpt from Chapter One, "The Gentle Cycle," Cooperative Village, A Novel by Frances Madeson, p. 18]

The day was so lovely I almost enjoyed running the
gauntlet of ancient neighbors inching their walkers forward
on the sidewalk outside the building. I even took a
moment to admire the tenacity with which they hauled
their decrepit, wasted selves onto the touring coach that
would speed them to Atlantic City for an action-packed
day of inserting nickels into one-armed bandits.

I especially admired the stooped crones who remained
unbowed by concerns of personal vanity and
who, like catfish, let the thick white hairs grow on their
chins and upper lips for all the world to behold. I was
glad we’d chosen this community and hoped that services,
such as free bus trips and moderately priced annual
luncheons at Kutscher’s in the Catskills would
still be available as we got older. I’d heard them talking
and already knew that “they give you so much at the all-you-
can-eat-buffet, they should call it the more-than-you-
can-ever-possibly-eat-at-one-sitting buffet,” and I
looked forward to partaking of it someday. But everything
in its time.

Rivka-Leah, the experienced customer service associate
in the Management Office, who’s probably old
enough to retire but cannot relinquish the reins of
power, buzzed me in so I could wait my turn while she
dealt with several other Cooperators who’d arrived before

“What’re you completely crazy? I’m not giving you a
receipt for your maintenance check. The canceled check
will be the receipt. We don’t do that.”

“But I had a problem one time before when I put the
check in the rent box, and you people said you never got
it and you charged me a late fee. A late fee! Writing the
maintenance check is one of the highlights of my month.
Do I look like I would ever be late with such an important
check?” The crowd, including me, shook its head as
one. No, certainly not.

Seeing the tide turning against her, Rivka-Leah had
to think fast. “Mr. Abrahamson, if I do it for you then I
have to do it for everyone and before you know it that’s
all I’m doing, sitting here on my tuchas all day long
making out receipts for rent checks.”

“Fine, then let it be on your head. And these people
are my witnesses. Don’t charge me no late fees. I got

“Fine. Abi gezundt. Next!”

While the two other Cooperators in line argued heatedly
over who was next, I slipped ahead of them. After
all, I had a time constraint. I had to transfer my loads
from the washer to the dryers, though I wasn’t sure
about whether to dry Mrs. Plotsky or not. Maybe on low

“Hi Rivka-Leah. How are you this morning?”

“Thank God. What can I do for you?”

“I’m sad to say my neighbor Mrs. Plotsky died. I
found her dead in the laundry room.”

“Did she have a parking spot?”

“I don’t know. I doubt it. She was well into her

“This is important,” Rivka-Leah was wagging her
finger in my face. “’Cause if she had a spot, someone
else moves up on the list. Wait a minute, I’ll ask my
son-in-law. ISH-MA-EL,” she screamed into the hallway,
“Plotsky in the Y building. Did she have a parking

“I told you never to call me that,” he screamed back.
“What’re you kidding? The woman’s in diapers, she don’t
drive no more.”

“Maybe a storage room?”

“Since when do I know from storage rooms? Ask
Fritzy, if you can find him.”

Franklin Delano “Fritzy” Mandelbaum was the new
wunderkind on the staff, hired right out of the Cornell
School of Hotel Management largely on the strength of
his honors thesis entitled, “Don’t Flatter Yourself: All
Living is Assisted.” He’d made a splash from day one,
riding his Vespa around the complex, his yarmulke securely
bobby-pinned to his fiery red curls, proactively
looking for problems to solve before they even became
problems. He was rarely spotted behind his desk.

“FRIT-ZY, Plotsky in Building Y. Did she have a storage

Luckily, he was in the office downloading tunes to
his iPod. His answer was also negative.

“No parking spot, no storage room, why’re you bothering
me with this? I don’t have enough to do? Her
fahkakte son moved in with her after they stapled his
kishkas, right?”


“Tell him. Abi gezundt. Next!”

While it didn’t feel great being dismissed by Rivka-
Leah like that, I realized she was, as I once had been, a
very busy woman who had a lot of demands on her time,
and I respected the fact that she had many details to
manage. I moved along, taking some comfort in the fact
that I’d done the responsible, if not wholly appreciated,
thing and had been a good Cooperator.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Appley Goodness

Dear Mr. Cook:

I'm working on a wonderful X-mas present for you, so just a few words from me today. I'll just say that my litblog pal Ed is famously broke in NYC this Xmas, long story. In fact, he's paying down a debt of several hundred dollars to me with pictures of Apple products in NYC scenes at the rate of $10 per pic. I've already  published two, here are four more:

Photos by Ed Champion. Ed calls this one Apples on Madison (for Madeson!)

Ed calls this one Tati Homage?

Ed called this one Another Apple Pic; I call it Boot on the Ground

Ed titled this: Tablet Inside, Reality Outside
If I were VP of HR for Apple Inc. (a big if, I'm aware), sight unseen I'd give Ed a 90-day supply of meds and a not unsubstantial budget, and I'd send him to South Korea ASAP and let his unbounded creativity loose on the competition. Tidings like those we had today
$112.010.53 would soon be reversed. Channel that energy!

Also, I tripped over this cute Money Isn't Everything post on the Ecuador Ex-Pat page:
I remember a story on one of the expat groups a few years ago about an apple vendor somewhere in EC who was selling a box of apples in the street. An expat asked to buy the whole lot, and she refused to sell him all of them. He asked why not, and she said that she wouldn't have anything to do for the rest of the day.
 Enjoy your holiday (if you can),

Sincerely yours,

Frances Madeson

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Apple Inc. Deeper Into the Woods!

Dear Mr. Cook:

An odd occurrence chanced to happen yesterday on the treadmill. Though the number didn't change on the display (rate per mile) the belt surged and slowed at whim.

Which reminded me of a day in NYC when the reported temperature on all of the news channels was far lower than what it actually was. Not the forecast, the actual reported temperature. Everyone was way over-dressed.

Sometimes the numbers are not an accurate measurement of whatever it is they're meant to measure, and they have to be bracketed. Perhaps like today's. [$112.540.40 (0.35%)]

 Sincerely yours,

Frances Madeson

Monday, December 22, 2014

Apple Inc. Into the Woods!

Dear Mr. Cook:

It was a tasteful gain today--up $1.14 to $112.94. I say tasteful given that in America we can at any moment be thrust back into Giuliani Time.

I wanted to let you know that when I was in Albuquerque on Friday, I stopped by the Scottrade office and opened another account. I'm not making any promises, but I'm open to the possibility of another (far more modest) investment.

Yours sincerely,

Frances Madeson

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Apple Albuquerque

The sole Apple Store in New Mexico

And so vibrant and alive! Really fun to be there.

Dear Mr. Cook:

I was in Albuquerque today on social justice business, and between events opted to stop by "our store." So glad I did. It was abuzz with positive energy. The atmospherics felt electrified with purpose and curiosity, problem-solving and sharing.

I have to say it's one thing to read about the differences in size of the iPhone 6 series, and another to see them side by side. I can see a lot of people buying both, I mean they each have a different utility.  I enjoyed surveying the merchandise, and walking around like I owned the joint.

I had a really fun chat with a young technician named Daniel with a remarkable Edward Scissorhands tattoo on his arm. When I asked to take his picture he informed me of the company policy that staff cannot be photographed in their Apple shirts. I'm sure you have your reasons, but I think you should make an exception for him.

While I was in the mall I couldn't resist going into the Williams Sonoma store--a guilty pleasure. I just love looking at all that well-designed cookware and accoutrements. And I'm afraid I'm guilty of handling the stemware, imagining how pretty the wine would look in each of the glasses. The mall experience was a little piece of Manhattan, very enjoyable.

Back in Santa Fe now, I see the share price fell by eighty-seven cents to $111.78. That's okay. I imagine the people of the Ukraine are very thankful to you. You really slapped Putin silly. Someone had to do it.

Sincerely yours,

Frances Madeson

P.S. For some reason I have a sizable readership from Ukraine on my other blog--Written Word, Spoken Word. Moldava too, a country I had to Google!