Newest Assignments and Dates (If assignment is online it shall be stated below)

  • 03-17-2008 - 03-21-2008 -Spring Break (FREEDOM)
  • 03-21-2008 -Art History Outline and images
  • Still during spring break: Read Lord of the Flies for techniques/devices, 3 allusions due.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Final Econ Study Guide

I couldn't figure out how to attach it as a document, so here's just everything copied and pasted:

Study Guide for Final Exam!!

Your final exam will be 60 multiple choice questions and 3 FRQ’s.


1) Consumption Schedule

2) Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply

3) Foreign Exchange Market

4) Loanable Funds Market

5) Long-Run Phillips Curve

6) Investment Demand Curve

7) Money Market Graph

Multiple Choice

1) Unit 1

a) Production Possibilities Curve

A production possibilities curve allows you to analyze the options for an economy that can produce two goods.

i) Calculate the opportunity cost of production of a good from a PPC curve

The opportunity cost of moving from point R to point T is 3 units of computers and the opportunity cost of moving from point R to point Q is 1 unit of food.

b) Calculating opportunity cost in general

John is a lawyer and can earn $150 an hour at his job. His lawn needs mowed and trimmed and it will take him only 3 hours to complete the task. To hire someone to mow the lawn for him would cost him $30 an hour but take 5 hours to complete. Should John hire someone or mow the lawn himself? John would be giving up $450 (3 X $150) to mow the lawn or $150 (5 X $30) to hire someone

John has a comparative advantage in law so he should specialize in law and hire someone to mow his lawn.

Also know how to calculate opportunity cost and comparative advantage in the following examples:

Amount that can be produced in one hour

Country Food Clothing

X 20 hours 50 hours

Y 10 hours 20 hours

c) Circular Flow Model

Households are demanders in the product market and suppliers in the factor market. Businesses are suppliers in the product market and demanders in the factor market. Money flows clockwise and goods and services flow counterclockwise.

2) Unit 2

a) GDP

A region's gross domestic product, or GDP, is one of the ways of measuring the size of its economy. The GDP of a country is defined as the total market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time. It is not always an accurate indicator of a nation’s well being. GDP per capita (GDP divided by the population) is a better indicator of a nation’s well being but it still does not present the whole picture of a nation’s economic state. GDP = C+I+G+Xn

i) What counts?

Look it up!!!

What does NOT count:

· Financial transactions from the government to you, for example: welfare, unemployment and social security

· Private transfer payments: private exchange of money

· Stock market transactions: buying stocks on the stock market (or selling them) do not count in GDP.

· Second hand sales: if you buy my car, it does not count in GDP

· Illegal (“under the table”) transactions: If someone works for cash it does not count toward GDP

· Any work that someone does on their home does not count.

ii) Understand the relationship between real GDP, nominal GDP and price level.

Real GDP = nominal GDP

Price index

If nominal GDP increases faster than real GDP than there is an increase in price level, if real GDP increases faster than nominal GDP than the nation is experiencing growth. If they both grow at the same time what does that mean?

iii) Potential GDP - Including an increase in and decline in potential GDP.

Potential GDP is the highest amount of GDO that can be sustained over a long period of time. It is represented by the LRAS curve in the AD/AS model, also in the business cycle graph as the straight line that remains constant.

This is the potential GDP

Anything that would change potential GDP would also shift the LRAS. For example an increase in investment will increase potential GDP.

b) Inflation

i) Price index

c) Interest rates

i) Nominal vs. Real – how does inflation affect these interest rates?

d) Unemployment

i) Why is the unemployment rate not an accurate indicator of actual unemployment?

ii) Types of unemployment

iii) How unemployment compensation affects the unemployment rate

(a) Affects on Phillips Curve (long-run and short-run)

3) Unit 3

a) Classical Economics & Keynesian Economics

i) Basic arguments

In classical economics there is a very laissez-faire idea of economics. There is no need for the government to step in because markets are self adjusting and eventually will get itself out of the recessionary or inflationary gap that may be occurring at any specific time.

b) Aggregate Demand /Supply

One of, or the, key graph in macroeconomics

The determinants of aggregate demand are: Consumption, this is spending done by consumers in the economy, investment spending, government spending and Net Exports. If one of these decreases than so does AD and vice versa.

The determinants of aggregate supply are resource prices, actions of the government and productivity/technology. Examples of resources are energy costs, wages, taxes. An action of the government would be a subsidy given to a farmer to help him produce a specific crop. Productivity/technology increases are anything from a new, more productive way of producing to a new invention.

i) How will a change in a determinant affect the AS/AD curve and equilibrium?

An increase in AD will increase both PL and GDP (output)

A decrease in AD will decrease both PL and GDP (output)

An increase in SRAS will increase GDP (output) and decrease PL

A decrease in SRAS will increase PL and decrease GDP (output)

(1) How will this change affect output, employment, unemployment and price level?

If GDP/Output (same thing) goes down then we stop producing as many goods and companies will have to fire employees since they are no longer needed with the decrease in output. Therefore unemployment will do up.

If GDP/output increases then companies will have to hire more employees in order to maintain production at the new level. Unemployment will do down.

c) Stagflation

d) Fiscal Policy

i) Automatic stabilizers

ii) How do changes in fiscal policy affect aggregate demand, output, and price level?

e) Crowding Out

f) Leakages in the economy – How they decrease the effects of government policies

g) Government Budget

i) What do deficits cause? What will occur?

If the government enacts policies in which it spends more than it receives in tax revenues then the government is in a deficit. A deficit will add to the economy’s growing national debt which is currently at over $9 trillion!!!

The government must find a way to finance its debt, whether it is to cut spending, raise taxes, and borrow money (which includes bonds).

h) Spending multiplier

i) Know it and what affects it.

i) Consumption schedule

i) Know how to read the consumption schedule.

ii) Be able to calculate the required increase in spending necessary to reach full employment.

j) Keynesian Aggregate Expenditure Model

i) When income changes what will happen to savings and consumption

k) MPC & MPS

4) Unit 4

a) Banking

i) What decreases the banks’ ability to make money?

ii) Finding the reserve ratio: given the appropriate information on an increase in banking deposits and reserves.

iii) Given the reserve requirement, a deposit of x amount will increase reserves how?

Increase the reserves of that bank

b) Monetary Policy

i) How does the Fed increase/decrease the money supply?

(1) During which type of gap (inflationary or expansionary) would the Fed increase or decrease the money supply?

(2) How does changing the money supply (different monetary policies) affect interest rates, investment, aggregate demand and output?

c) Money market

The money market graph has two parts, quantity of money demanded and quantity of money supplied. The quantity of money supplied is vertical because the money supply is affected only by the actions of the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve uses monetary policy to increase and decrease the money supply. The money demanded is controlled by consumers and businesses. We hold money to buy the goods we need every day and so that we can hold some of our wealth in “liquid” form. If we (consumers) decide to hold more money than the amount of money demanded would increase (shift to the right). Other things can affect money demanded, for example if the income level increased than the amount of money demanded would increase too (more money needed to pay incomes)

(1) How quantity demanded and supplied affects interest rates

Shifting either money market curve (like discussed above) changes interest rates. If the money demanded curve shifts to the right so that more money is now demanded than supplied, than the interest rates will rise in order to reach a Md & Ms equilibrium (vice versa for a leftward shift in the money demand curve)

(2) M1, M2, M3

5) Unit 5/6

a) International Economics

i) Benefits of specialization

ii) Domestic effects of tariffs

iii) How does a change in the demand for goods/services in one nation affect the currency exchange rate, the demand for currencies, and supply of currencies?

Relate changes in interest rates to changes in the value of the dollar

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Chap 19

19-1 Hyacinthe, Louis XIV

- 1701, oil on canvas. 9'2" x 7'10

-richly costumed monarch Louis XIV or Le roi Soleil ("the sun King")

-Poses in the robe of state with gold fleors-de-lis and white carmine. The king is being showed as the curtains are being pulled back. He is showing off is leg which he was proud of.

- The facial expressing makes Louis human with a direct glaze to the viewer

-Made for grandson Philip but he kept it and ordered a copy for his grandson later. It was common for people to order multiple copies of something.


19-2 Gianlorenzo Bernini. Baldacchino

-1624-33 gilt bronze 100' Chair of peter shrine 1657-66 gilt bronze, marble, stucco and glass pier decorations 1627-41 gilt bronze and marble

-Combines architecture, sculpture, and painting

-Twisted columns symbolize union of Old and New Testament

-Composite capitols use Ionic and Corinthian order, entablature with crowning element topped with an orb and a cross, putti angles decorate entablature.

- Marks Peter's grave and a monument to Urban VII and family (honeybees and suns, and laurel leaves climbing on vines are his emblems)


19-3 Saint Peter's Basilica and Piazza , Vatican , Rome

-Carlo Maderno, façade, 1607-26, Bernini piazza 1656-57

- Bernini designed the colonnade to form a large double piazza at the entrance of Saint Peter's

- He had to work with an open irregular space, with the fountain and the obelisk already in place. It surrounds an oval piazza with 2 curved porticoes with Doric columns; they are connected to two straight porticoes that lead to the church facade

- Bernini said that the porticoes represented the "motherly arms of the church" reaching out to the world


19-6 Facade, Church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane

-1665-67 Borromini

-The columns and the deep niches create a great contrast between light and shadow

- the facade has a strong vertical in the center by putting a statue niche above the door, then above that a windowed niche with a pointed canopy, then a large cartouche held up by angels in extremely high relief

-the facade is toped with a balustrade and the pointed frame of the cartouche


19-9 Gianlorenzo Bernini. Saint Teresa of Avila in Ecstasy

-1645-52. Marble, height of the group 11'6". Cornaro Chapel

-Represents a vision seen by a Spanish mystic, where an angel pierced her body with an arrow, taking her to a state of religious ecstasy or oneness with God.

-The angel seems to float on the clouds, they are cut from a heavy mass of solid marble supported on a hidden pedestal and by metal bars embedded in the chapel walls

- Captures movements and emotions and uses different textures and colors in the white marble, the angel's gauzy drapery that seems like silk and Teresa's seems like a woolen robe.

-You can tell that there is a body underneath the heavy drapery event though you can only see her hands, head, and feet.

-the rays if light are made from gilt bronze they are illuminated from a hidden window above.


19-10 Gianlorenzo Bernini. David

-1623, marble, height 5'7"

-David bends at the waist and is twisted far to one side

-It's a more mature version of David, with a ferocious expression, tightly clenched mouth and straining muscles

- It includes the viewer in the action because the seems to be someone behind the viewer, this represented a new direction of art


19-15 Pietro da Cortona. Triumph of the Barberini

- ceiling fresco in the Gran Salone, Palazzo Barberini, Rome . 1632-39

- allegory of the virtues of the papal family

- below the center of the vault, seated on top of a pyramid of clouds are personifications of Time and the fates, and Divine Providence. Divine Providence gestures toward 3 giant bees surround by a huge laurel wreath held up by Faith, Hope, and charity.

-Immortality offers a crown of stars and other figures are presenting the cross keys and the crown of the papacy

-Around the figures are the Roman gods and goddesses that represent the pope's triumph over the vices


19-16 Giovanni Battista Gaulli. Triumph of the name of Jesus

-ceiling fresco with stucco figures in the vault of the Church of Il Gesú , Rome 1672-85

- It unifies architecture, sculpture, and painting. All the elements come together to create the illusion that the clouds and angels are floating down through an opening in the vault

-It is focused off centered on the golden Aura around the letters IHS, which is the insignia of the Jesuits and the monogram of Jesus.

-It is a Last Judgment piece; the Elect are rising toward the name of God and the Damned plummeting toward the nave floor.


19-19 Caravaggio. Entombment.

-From the Vittrici Chapel, Church of Santa Maria in Vallicell, Rome . 1603-4. Oil on canvas 9'10" x 7 15/16"

-The viewer's perspective is from within the Burial pit that Jesus is being lowered into

-The figures form a triangle, the angular elements are repeated with the projecting edge of the stone slab, Jesus' bent legs, the akimbo man, the bunched coat, the spaces between the raised hands, and the knock-kneed stance of the man in the right.

-Mary Magdalen and the Virgin don't really intrude in the scene because most of the light is focused on Jesus, the man holding him on the right, and a young John the Evangelist


19-20 Artemisia Gentileschi. Judith and the Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes

-1625. Oil on canvas, 6' ½" x 4'7"

-Judith Triumph over the Assyrian General Holofernes

-She uses the Baroque naturalist and tenebrist effects showing Judith still holding the sword and hiding the candle light as the maid stuffs the head into the sack 


19-23 Central block of the Garden façade, Palais de Vesailles

-Hardouin-Mansart built the additional wings and the renovation of the central block and the matching gardens.

-The bottom story (3 story building) is slightly rusticated and lined with arched windows separated by Ionic pilasters.

-the attic level has rectangular windows flanked by pilaster, and it has flat terraced roof

-The whole design is a balance of horizontals and verticals with rectangular spaced projecting blocks with open, colonnade porches


19-24 Jules Harduin-Mansart and Charels Le Brun. Hall of Mirrors, Palais de Versailles

-Begun 1678. Length about 240'

-the interior wall is lined with Venetian glass mirrors, which were very expensive in that time.

-The mirrors reflect the light coming in through the windows on the opposite side, it gives the impression that the room is much larger.

-Le Brun painted the ceiling with scenes glorifying the reign of Louis XIV who was associated with Apollo the sun god


19-27: Georges de la Tour. Magdalen with the Smoke Flame

  • 1640, Oil on canvas
  • Simplified setting and a light source (typical of La Tour)
  • Hand and skull act as devices to establish a foreground plane
  • Compression of the figure within the pictorial space lends a sense of intimacy
  • Light is the unifying element
  • Mary has put aside her rich clothing and jewels and meditates on the frailty and vanity of human life


    19-28: Claude Lorrain. Landscape with Merchants

  • 1630, Oil on canvas
  • Idyllic scene in which elegant man proffer handsome goods to a passerby as the sun rises
  • Huge trees and a busy foreground
  • Creates landscapes with figures
  • Painting is the epitome of the orderly, arranged, classical landscapes


    19-29: Nicolas Poussin. Landscape with Saint John on Patmos

  • 1640, Oil on canvas
  • Consistent perspective progression from the picture plane back into the distance through a clearly defined foreground, middle ground, and back ground
  • Zones are marked by alternating sunlight and shade and architectural elements
  • Ruined temple with obelisk in the middle
  • Precisely placed trees and clouds take on a solidity of form that seems almost as structural as architecture
  • Eagle is the symbol of John


    19-30: Jakob Pandtauer. Benedictine Monastery Church

  • Built high on a promontory overlooking the Danube River
  • Combines church, monastery, library, and guest quarters that evolved into a splendid palace to house the traveling court
  • Flanked by two long parallel wings, one of which contains a grand hall and the other, the monastery's library
  • Wings are joined at the lower level by a sections with a curving façade forming a terrace overlooking the river in front of the church
  • Large windows and galleries take advantage of the river view, while colossal pilasters and high bulbous-dome towers emphasize the buildings verticality


    19-32: Pedro de Ribera. Portal of the Hospicio de San Fernando, Madrid

  • 1722
  • Severe brick structure
  • Uses classical elements and organizes them symmetrically
  • Structural forms are turned into projecting and receding layers overlaid with foliage
  • Carved curtains looped back
  • Florid styling was carried by conquistadors


    19-34: Jusepe de Ribera. Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew

  • 1634, Oil on canvas
  • Apostle, Bartholomew, is being martyred by being skinned alive
  • Ribera highlighted the intensely realistic aged faces with dramatic Caravaggesque tenebrism
  • The bound Bartholomew looks heavenward as his executioner tests the knife that he will soon use on his still-living victim
  • Combined classical and Caravaggesque technique


    19-35: Francisco de Zurbaran. Saint Serapion

  • 1628, Oil on canvas
  • Depicts martyrdom, but represented with understated control
  • Zurbaran was associated with monastic orders for which he executed his major commissions
  • Portrays the martyrdom of Serapion
    • Sacrificed himself in exchange for the Christian captives

      The dead man's pallor, rough hands, and the course ropes emerge from the off-white of his creased Mercedarian habit


    19-37: Diego Velaquez: Water carrier of Seville

  • 1619, Oil on canvas
  • Arranged elements of his paintings with mathematical rigor
  • Objects and figures allow the artist to exhibit his virtuosity in rendering sculptural volumes and contrasting textures illuminated by dramatic natural light
    • Light reacts to surfaces: reflecting off the glazed water pot at the left and the matte (dull) jug


    19-38: Diego Velaquez. The Surrender at Breda (The Lances)

  • 1634-35, Oil on canvas
  • The Spanish governor has defeated the Dutch at Breda
  • Opposing armies stand on a hilltop overlooking a vast valley where the City of Breda burns and soldiers are still deployed
  • The Dutch commander hands over the keys of Breda to the victorious Spanish commander
  • Painting represents a courtly ideal of gentle-manly conduct
  • Velaquez displays his ability to arrange a large number of figures into an effective composition


    19-39: Diego Velaquez. Las Menina (The Maids of Honor)

  • Draws the viewer directly into its action, for the viewer is standing, in the space occupied by King Philip and his queen (you can see their reflection in the mirror)
  • The central focus is on their daughter in the center
  • Used a minimum of under-drawing building up his forms with layers of loosely applied paint and finishing off the surfaces with dashing highlights
    • Captures the appearance of light on surfaces
  • A personal statement in its own day, not a true court porttrait


    19-40: Bartolome Esteban Murillo. The Esquilache Immaculate Conception

  • 1645-50, Oil on canvas
  • Depicts controversial idea that Mary was born sin free
  • Artist was given specific instructions for the painting:
    • Mary would be dressed in blue and white, hands folded in prayer, as she is carried by angels heavenward

    19-45: Peter Paul Rubens. The Raising of the Cross

  • 1610-11, Oil on canvas
  • Side panels contain related but independent images
    • Wings extend the action of the central scene and surrounding landscape across the vertical framing
  • In the center: Herculean figures strain to haul upright the wooden cross with Jesus already stretched upon it
  • Left: Followers of Jesus join in morning
  • Right: Indifferent soldier supervise the execution


    19.46 Henri IV Receiving the Portrail of Mare de' Medici

    - 1621-25; oil on canvas

    - Henri falls in love with Marie, shown by Cupid and Hymen (God of Marriage), supreme Roman god, Jupiter, and wife, Juno look down

    - encourage to abandon war for love; puttis play with his armor

    -political propaganda of the highest order


    19.48 Charles I at the Hunt. Anthony van Dyck

    - 1635; oil on canvas; 8'11'' x 6'11''

    - King portrayed as truthfully and an quietly imposing figure

    - read for hunt; shown taller

    - tree branches bow gracefully toward him


    19.50 Still Life with Flower, Goblet, Dried Fruit, and Pretzels. Clara Peeters

    - 1611; oil on panel; 19 ¾ x 25 ¼ ''

    - arranged rich tableware and food against neutral, almost black backgrounds

    - goblet and bowl contrast with simple pewter ware, same as flowers with pretzels

    - pretzels piled high, Baroque elements, with complex multiple curves


    19.51 Catharina Hooft and her Nurse. Frans Hals

    - 1620; oil on canvas; 33 ¾ x 25 ½ ''

    - captures vitality of a gesture and fleeting moment in time

    - for posterity the great pride of the parents in their child and their wealth; rich fabrics, laces, and expensive toys (golden rattle)

    - acknowledges views as a loving family member and nurse tries to distract with an apple


    19.52 Officers of the Haarlem Militia Company of Saint Adrian. Hals

    - 1627; oils on canvas; 6' x 8'8''

    - Hal's composition turns the group potrail into a lively social event while still maintaining a strong underlying geometry of diagonal lines - gestures, banners and sashes - balanced by perpendiculars of tables, window, tall glass, and striped banner

    - very brilliant with the black suits, hats with white ruffs, and sashes of the rose, white, and blue


    19.53 Self-Portrait Judith Leyster

    - 1635; oil on canvas; 29 3/8 x 25 5/8 ''

    - Leyster's know for informal scenes of daily life; moralistic theme

    - artist pauses her work momentarily; as if the viewer had just entered the room

    - elegant trees and fine chair are symbols of artist succession

    - her subject, man playing a violin

    - immediately sees difference between painted portrail and painted painting

    - narrow range of colors dispersed on composition and warm spotlighting are typical of Leyster's mature style


    19.54 Captain Frans Banning Cocq Mustering His Company (The Night Watch). Rembrandt van Rijn

    - 1642; oil on canvas; 11'11'' x 14'4''

    - dense layer if grime and darkened varnish on if dark background architecture was thought to be a night scene, The Night Watch

    - but after cleaning and restoring, it shows the rich colors

    - dramatic group composition shows a company forming for a parade in an Amsterdam street

    - Rembrandt added several colorful but seemingly unnecessary figures

    - officers stride purposefully forward, the rest of the men and several mischievous children mill about

    - young girl at the left, carrying a chicken and wearing a money pouch, unusual that attempts have been made to find symbolic or ironic meaning


    19.57 Self-Portrait. Rembrandt van Rijn

    - 1659; oil on canvas; 33 ¼'' x 26''

    - shows Rembrandt's sensitivity to the human condition


    19.60 Maas at Dordrecht

    - 1660; oil on canvas; 3'9 ¼'' x 5'7''

    -  dramatic change of idealized scenes

    - Cuyp and other Dutch painters represented the country as they saw it

    - At Dordrecht, the wide, deep harbor of the Maas River was always filled with cargo ships and military vessels, and Cuyp's seascapes express pride in the city's contribution to the United Butch Republic's prosperity, independence, and peaceful life


    19.63 View of delft. Jan Vermeer

    - 1662; oil on canvas; 38 ½ x 46 ¼''

    - doesn't paint a photographic reproduction of the scene

    - moves buildings around to create an ideal composition

    -endows the city with a timeless stability created by the careful placement of the buildings, the quiet atmosphere, and the clear, eve light

    - the camera obscura would have enhanced optical distortions that led to the "bleading" of highlights, which creates the illusion of brilliant light but doesn't dissolve the underlying form


    19.64 Woman Holding a Balance. Jan Vermeer

    - 1664; oil on canvas; 16 ¾ x 15''

    - perfect balance creates a monumental composition and a moment of supreme stillness

    -woman contemplates the balance and so calls our attention to the act of weighing and judging

    - her hand and the scale are central, but directly over her, on the wall of the room, hangs a large painting of the Last Judgment

    -a metaphor for eternal judgment

    -woman's moment of quiet introspection before she touches gold or pearls also recalls the vanitas theme of the transience of life, allowing the painter to comment on the ephemeral quality of material things


    19.70 St. Paul's Cathedral. Christopher Wren

    - designed in 1673; built 1675-1710

    - on the main (west) front, two stages of paired Corinthian columns support a carved pediment

    -the deep-set porches and the columned pavilions atop the towers create dramatic areas of light and shadow

    -the huge size of the cathedral and its triumphant verticality, complexity of form, and chiaroscuro effects make it a major monument of the English Baroque

    -simple marble slab that forms his tomb in the crypt of the cathedral, he had engraved: "If you want to see his memorial, look around you."




Chap 19

Baldachin: Canopy

Example: Baldacchio

Travertine: Porous stone that is less costly and more easily worked with than marble

Example: Piazza Navona

Tenebrism: Forms emerge from a dark background into a strong light that often falls from a single source outside the painting

Example: Calling of Saint Matthew

Parterres: Planting beds

Example: Embroidered planters located in Palais de Versailles

Prix de Rome: Prestigious scholarship offered by the French Academy

Example: Given to Hyacinthe Rigaud

Retablos: Spanish for "altarpiece" The screen placed behind an altar

Example: Portal of the Hospicio do San Fernando

Nepotism: favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power

dry point: Sharp needles used to scratch shallow lines in a plate

breakfast pieces: showing a table set for a meal of bread and fruit

camera obscura: A dark box with a hole in one side sometimes with a lens, it operates when a bright light shines through the hole. It projects an upside down version of the image on the interior wall which then can be traced

vanitas: an image in which all the images symbolize the transience of life

still life: paintings artfully arranged on table, comes from stilleven a Dutch word

flower pieces: Still-life painting in which cut-flower arrangements

Bays: vertical divisions

    Ex: Banqueting House, White-hall palace, London. Indigo Jones

clapboard: horizontal plank sliding

    Ex: Parson Capen House. Topsfield

Limners: face painters

    Ex: Mrs. Freake and Baby Mary; Anonymous "Freake Painter"

Baroque: "imperfect pearl" to designate certain formal characteristics of Art and its history; "absolute unity"

    Ex: practically everything in this chapter

impasto: thickly applied pigments



Thursday, April 3, 2008

Huerta's Inferno

The 5 Layers of Huerta’s Hell

Level 1
Huerta was walking down a lonely road on his way home from work. His arms were heavy with the day's newspapers (he was a paperboy) and his bike was busted. He let out a sigh as he thought "Just 5 more minutes and I'll be home," but no sooner had the thought entered his mind, when a black car appeared and two armed men forced him into the backseat and placed a bag over his head. He awoke and saw a man leaning against the side of a busted table nearby, his back to him. Huerta grabbed a shovel randomly laying next to him on the hard cuboidal shaped concrete bricks. He approached the figure slowly, shovel in hand, ready to knock him a good one, “Either you tell me who you are, or I make you friends with my shovel here!” He said as bravely as he could, trying his hardest to not let his voice get all squeaky with fear. The man glanced back his way “Homie, you better be joking! I save your life and you threaten me with a freakin' shovel?" He paused examining Huerta's pale face with a bored expression, "I'm Laquanda, and I’ve been trapped in the Stratum Basale for the last month or so.” “Stratum Basale? What’s that?” “It’s the first floor of this house, the Epidermis House, they call it.” "Epidermis house?" Huerta questioned "You must live in a box to not have heard of this place" Huerta did answer, but he didn't put down his shovel either. He was an economy student, he was supposed to stay in his box. "There are five floors, each more gruesome then the last. The only way out is to make it to the 5th floor" "Well why haven't you tried to get out" "Pssh, I did try, I barely made it back down here in one piece" Laquanda froze, his hand moved quickly to the inner part of the jacket he wore, he took out a small knife "Hey! What's with the knife?" Huerta yelled out panicked, Laquanda threw the knife and it hit it's target dead center. The sound of the shovel hitting the cuboidal stone echoed through out the dank basement. He got to his feet and pulled the dagger out of the columnar walls. A spider-like creature bigger then this fist plopped to ground at his feet. "What is that thing?" Huerta asked, he was as white a ghost and had almost peed his pants (but he wasn't about to admit that) "They're called Stratum Germinative, just a single bite and you join the rest of those keratinocyte ghosts that haunt this place. I" "We have to get out of here" Huerta said, his voice laced with fear. " "Since there are two of us now, I guess it's worth a go" Laquanda said pocketing his weapon as he walked up to Huerta. The short Mexican could do nothing but take in the sheer height of his ally. He was TALL. "Let's get moving then. They only open the doors to the outside world once every two weeks, and that two week mark is today" Huerta followed Laquanda to an old beaten up door on the other side of the room. "You ready? This isn't going to be easy, dude." Huerta nodded his head repeatedly at a rather quick pace, as if trying to reassure himself. Laquanda looked at him with a cocked brow. "Okay, dude. You need to calm down" He stopped to make to sure he was ready for the fight that was sure to come, he bent down and tied his shoe, you don't want to worry about tripping when you're facing those things. Huerta noticed a small cut on his leg through a tear in his pants "What happened?" Laquanda straightened himself quickly, "Just a cut, nothing big. We're going to see much worse" He pulled open the creaky door and led Huerta out of the columnar and cuboidal room and up a long staircase.

Level 2
Laquanda and Huerta entered the most elegant and luxurious ballroom they had ever seen. It consisted of 8-10 layers of grand crystal windows that reached the ceiling. Oil paintings hung around the walls, intermingling with the windows, and casting off beautiful lights… Out of those lights arose shadows which slowly materialized into ghosts. They appeared friendly at first, doing nothing more than smiling and dancing, and a merry wave here and there. But as the minutes passed, they morphed, just ever so slowly. Their arms and legs duplicated, and became long and spindly, but their bodies shrunk continuously, until all that was left was a dead and shrunken skull atop 8 hairy legs. “Keratinocytes” whispered Laquanda in a hushed tone, “we need to leave, NOW!” And with that final word, Laquanda and Huerta took off across the ball room, running for their lives, with Huerta screaming at the top of his lungs. They climbed flight after flight of stairs, trying to put some distance between them and the Keratinocytes, but those hairy creatures had come together to make a gigantic spider webs, thus blocking the left exit, and their last hope.
The Keratinocytes were now closing in, their legs tapping impatiently, anxious to feed. Huerta appeared to be reciting his will and Laquanda closed his eyes and held is breath, waiting for the bite that never came.
Echoing around the ballroom walls was a Tarzan-like cry uttered by a shirtless man atop a balcony on the opposite wall. Across his chest the word “Roach” was written in bold letters. And without further ado, he cut a thread from the spider web and swung across the room. He was of course, aiming to land close enough to Huerta and Laquanda, so as to make a quick and speedy exit, but instead he ran-over, head-first, a dozen Keratinocytes.
That moments distraction was all Huerta and Laquanda needed to slip past the keratinocytes, and follow a very fast, yet slightly disoriented Roach up the staircase and out of harms way.

Level 3
All was silent on this floor, a sense of calm overwhelmed Huerta and Laquanda, despite the abnormal floating candles in the dark.
They agreed to rest and catch their breath before going an further, and as they did so, Roach recounted how he himself go into the house.
“All I remember was milking goats in Lebanon, and that’s a lot harder than you think. You’ve got to treat the goats with respect; like a sheet of music, ‘cause once you hit a wrong chord--”
“Just tell us how you got here!” yelled Laquanda and Huerta.
“Alright, alright,” replied Roach “Well, like I said, I was just out milking the goats when I heard this strange noise outside. I poked my head out to see what was going on and called out to see if it was my mom or something, but there was nothing. So I went back inside to continue milking the goat. And as I sat down on the stool, I noticed that my milk pail was gone, I turned around to look for it, but the last thing I remember was that milk pail coming at my head.”
“That’s it? Someone whacked you with a flimsy pail and you were out????” asked Laquanda almost indignantly.
“Well, it was more than half-filled…”
“Roach, don’t even talk to me anymore” said Laquanda
The silence lasted only for a few minutes before a strong wind momentarily blew the candles out. When they reignited, Roach, Huerta, and Laquanda looked at the ceiling and saw row after row of dead and flattened keratinocytes covered in tonofilament spider webs lining the walls.
Large glass doors now appeared before them, and they heard black sludge ooze from the wall and floor cracks .
“Get away from the walls! That black sludge, it’s keratohyalin, it turns the tonofilament spider webs into keratinocytes!” screamed Roach.
No sooner had he said it, when dozens of keratinocytes scuttled down the walls, heading for the three. They ran for the glass doors, jumping and leaping over keratinocytes, anxious to miss those deadly stingers. Panting, Laquanda made it through the glass doors first, followed closely by Huerta, but poor Roach never did.
He was just inches away when the glass doors slide shut. Roach desperately beat his hands against the doors screaming “OPEN UP! OPEN UP!!!!!” But try as they might, Huerta and Laquanda could not get the door to budge. They watch in horrified silence as Roach is submerged by keratinocytes.
They hear an evil laugh above and manage to catch a glimpse of a figure on a balcony, and watch as the figure struggles with what appears to be a pump, now emitting a green gas. They hear a stir on the other side of the glass doors, and watch as Roach slowly gets on his feet.
“ROACH! ROOOAAACCCHHH!!!” screamed Huerta.
But by know Roach had started mumbling incoherent descriptions about llamas and Lebanon.
“Shut up! He can’t hear you!” yelled Laquanda.
“But we can’t just leave him there!” retorted Huerta.
“Look, that’s Apoptosis gas and unless you want to--”
They heard a small explosion, and Roach fall on his knees, headless.
“ROACH!!!!!!!” cried Huerta.
“Unless you want to go the way of that goat-milker, I suggest we leave now, seeing as how the Apoptosis gas could leak through the cracks any minute!”
Suddenly the keratinocytes on the wall began to secrete a new liquid (“lamellar granules” shuddered Laquanda).
The silvery lamellar granules became compacted, and rushed with force at the glass doors, breaking them. But by then Huerta and Laquanda had gone, and were well on the way to the next floor.

Level 4
Laquanda and Huerta raced up the stairs panting, not far ahead Laquanda could see the door leading to next floor. "We're almost there!" he called out. They burst through the multi-colored door and shut it behind them as quickly as they possibly could. A white light filled the room, so bright they couldn't see a thing. "Where are we?" Huerta ask as he attempted to shield his eyes from the burning light, "Either the 4th or 5th level, I'm not sure. This place changes sometimes, as soon as the light dies down we'll be able to tell which floor we came out on" As he said those words the searing light began to fade away to a dull yellow light that they could both handle easily. The room was a lot smaller compared to the last few rooms they had run through. The room was filled with old grey keratinocytes, they came in the form of what seemed to be simply the outline of elderly people, they didn't seem to notice them and they moved very slowly. "Why are you so old and see through?" Huerta whispered. "The one's here are transparent, something about the Stratum Lucidum. Keratinocytes move through each floor when they get older, while new ones are being added to house on that bottom floor where you woke up at" "You mean . . ." Huerta paused as he tried to comprehend what Laquanda was saying. "You mean, we were supposed to become keratinocytes?" "That's exactly what I'm saying. As they move through each floor they make their way to the 5th level where they will be let go." "Let go?" "They get rid of them, new ones are coming in, they don't need the old keratinocytes on the verge of death. Come on, we need to keep going" As they followed the old hollowed out wall, avoiding the old geezers hobbling along a loud new voice me their ears. "Hold it right there!" They spin around and see a keratinocyte in the form of a young short girl with chinky eyes standing in front them. "Where are you two going?" She yelled out. "Out the door" Laquanda answered. "OBJECTION!" She yelled out, "You're not going anywhere . . . Unless you take some of this pan de ube with you" The keratinocyte pulled a plastic bag out from behind her back containing the said bread. The two stared at her in shock. "Who are you?" Laquanda asked. "My name's Jessyca, I lead all the passing keratinocytes to the 5th level to be shed from the Epithelium House. " "So you know the way out then?" Huerta asked quickly and without thinking, which was totally normal for him. "Oh yeah, I even know how to get out without passing by Chrystina Taylor." "What's a Chrystina Taylor?" Huerta asked Jessyca gave him a funny look, "Surely you know who she is, I mean, Chrystina has been the queen of the Epithelium House since before that little Stratum Germinative made me a keratinocyte." "Chrystina Taylor is the ruler of the keratinocytes. Her step-father ruled and left the title to Chrystina, even though he has a daughter of his own. Haleigh, the mostawesomest of all the keratinocytes, was left with nothing after he was shed, but that's not going to last much longer" That last bit Laquanda had muttered under his breath. "I'm sorry, what was that?" Jessyca asked "I missed that last thing you said" "Nothing" Laquanda said before turning his back to her, "We need to keep going." "Where are you two heading to?" "We're heading for shedding" Huerta replied. "I can show you a short cut if you would like" "Sure, that's cool" Laquanda nodded, "Let's get going"

Level 5
Haleigh watched as the trio raced up the staircase from a heavily shadowed spot on the beams above them. Soon the Epidermis would be hers once and for all. Soon she would take what was hers!

King Swain lay on his death bed, his two daughters stood before him. One, his daughter from his first marriage, beautiful and strong-headed, the other, his step-daughter powerful and intimidating. "Girls" he began, his voice quivering from the strain "I would want nothing more then to let both of you rule, but I can only choose one to take on the responsibilities of running the Epidermis . . .Chrystina, you will be the next ruler of this house."

Haleigh practically shock from her rage. "I will get what is mine" she whispered.

"Come on" Jessyca said as led them through a darkened path lit by only a few lamps hanging from the ceiling. "Where are we, the throne room isn't anywhere near here" "No, I told you that I was going to take you to the exit without passing through the throne room, remember?" Tracy frowned as he followed Jessyca through the hall. Suddenly the lights were gone and the group was engulfed in darkness, they could hear the sounds of footsteps, of a small gasp, someone was struggling. Then silence. The lights flickered back on. "Where's Laquanda?!" Jessyca called out, "I think we better worry about ourselves first, look!" Huerta said pointing further down the narrow hallway where an army of spider keratinocytes were making their way towards them. "Oye! It's time to get going!" Jessyca grabbed Huerta's upper arm and turned around and began running as fast as she could. She pulled him into a darkened turnoff that Huerta hadn' t noticed when they had walked past it. "Come on!" Jessyca yelled again. She let go of his arm and assumed he would follow her when she continued to run. In the middle of the hallway coming up quickly as Jessyca raced through was a thin plastic orange fence, it was barely visible through the darkness, but she saw it and she leapt as high as she could . . . Her foot caught in the fence and she fell. Her slipper was torn, "Oh no!" She cried out as Huerta stopped to help her up, the Keratinocytes were close. Their eyes got wide as she stumbled to her feet, ripping the shoe off her foot, it was too messed up to run in. "We have to keep going" Huerta yelled, panic filled his voice. They took off again. And once again they were forced to ground. This time they ran into something moving. "Laquanda!" Jessyca yelled out. "Finally! I found you guys!" He looked up and saw the hoard of Keratinocytes rampaging towards them, "Yeah, we should get going" He dragged the two to their feet and led them down the hall he was just exited from. "This way!" He called out. They burst through extremely large double doors, shutting them behind them. They could hear the sound of the keratinocytes colliding with the door outside. "Where are we?" Huerta asked aloud as he looked around the room in awe. It was large and ornately decorated. The shimmering lights and sparkling crystal windows shone brightly "We're in the Stratum Corneum. The topmost layer" Laquanda answered. "More then that. We're in the Throne Room" Jessyca added a bit nervously, "We have to get out of here before -" The shaking ground cut Jessyca off in mid-sentence. "Before what?" Echoed a monstrous voice coming from, of all places, the ceiling. They all looked up quickly. Hanging from a thick web was a giant keratinocyte. "It's her!" Jessyca whispered, her voice overflowing with fear. "Queen Chrysitna T, also known as Queen Gohma!" "Huerta!" Laquanda demanded, "You must fight her. You are the only one who can defeat her!" "Why me?" "There are stories about you, you're the chosen one sent from the heavens to rid us of the darkness. Only you can do it!" Huerta turned to see the giant spider-keratinocyte queen hovering above him laughing hysterically. "I can do this." He repeated over and over. He shut his eyes tight and when he opened them he was ready for battle. He longer wore the beat up old clothes he wore every other day, instead he was wearing a long green tunic, with brown tights and high brown hunting boots. On his head was green cap, one you might confuse with a sleeping cap. He reached for the sheath that was suddenly at his waist and pulled out the Kokiri sword ready for battle. His trusty sling-shot also ready at his waist. The monster attack and Huerta dodged. As Queen Chrystina turned searching for Huerta with her one giant eye Huerta pulled out his sling-shot and hit her eye dead center. Kokiri sword in hand he took one good slash at the injured keratinocyte queen and took her out."

"DUDE!" Laquanda cried out. "You did it!" Panting Huerta grinned at Laquanda and Jessyca, he turned back to the body of the keratinocyte queen as a small blue fairy rose from her body. Huerta approached it, a glass bottle in hand ready to catch it. Just as he uncorked the bottle the fairy it transformed into a gorgeous woman with long blue hair adorned with gold bands and ringlets hanging from the ends. Her skin itself had a bluish tint. She was dressed in a skimpy icy blue bikini. That was when Huerta noticed her claw like nails. This woman was beautiful, but obviously a force to be reckoned to with. As her feet touched the floor Huerta took in her height . . . or lack of it, she couldn't have been taller than 5 feet. She tossed her hair out her face before her hard gaze met Huerta's. It was a look that could freeze over Hell. Huerta took a step in both shock and fear. You would think that he would have learned that short women were the ones you really have to look out for. Behind him Laquanda dropped to one knee, "I have done all that you have asked, my lady, or should I say, Queen Haleigh" Haleigh's gaze turned to Laquanda's bowed head. "Yes you did quite well. I am very pleased" Laquanda rose to his feet and stepped to Haleigh's side, "What do we do with these two useless sacks of keratin?" Laquanda asked with an evil grin. "Dispose of them, they are not of any use to me" Haleigh replied with toss of her hand. "Dispose?" Huerta questioned quickly, "Laquanda, what is she talking about what's going on?" That's when it hit him, everything suddenly made sense, "You . . . The cut on your leg. . . You're disappearing . . . You're a keratinocyte!" "A bit slow aren't we? I was never on your side, I was never trying to get you out, you were just the only one who could take out the spider" "I should have known, how you always knew which way to go, someone living In the Stratum Basale would have never known all that stuff you knew" "And yet it took you until now to realize it" "Did you get shorter?" Jessyca asked out of the blue. "What?" Laquanda replied, "You look shorter." That's when Laquanda really look in his height loss, he was almost the same size as Haleigh . . . "What's going on?" He asked looking as his body in shock, "I'm turning into an Asian kerantinocyte" "Oh, did I forget to mention that? You traveling through the levels of the Epidermis means you're getting flatter, shorter. You being short, means you're practically useless to me . . . No, let me correct that, you are useless to me." "You promised me a share of your power!" Laquanda growled. "Did I? You must have misheard me, I would never promise my power, my right to rule, to a misshapen keratinocyte like you." Laquanda fell to knees as he was just about ready to charge at the new queen. "Well it looks like it's time for you to be shed." Haleigh said mockingly as she stood above Laquanda as he lay on the ground clutching his stomach in pain. She looked up just as the other two fell to their knees as well. "It looks like it's time for all of you to go." With a snap of her delicate hand big strong keratinocytes appeared and dragged the near lifeless bodies to the shedding site. "Bye now" Haleigh said laughing as she turned her back on the trio making her way through the grand throne room to her throne where she would rule for as long as she may.