After several days of struggling to set up WordPress on my own hosted domain, and to configure it just so, "pretty permalinks" and all, I'd finally got everything working. But at a price.
Opening up your entire installation with permissions set to 777 probably isn't real smart. But it worked! And I wrote to hostingsupport to gloat about my unique combination of cleverness and stupidity - which was my second mistake. Or so I hope.
I think they locked me out of my own WordPress installation. At least, I hope they did. Because .htaccess has now been replaced with a small HTML error page, and I appear to be locked out of that whole subdirectory by a higher authority.
Which is what I'd do if I were troubleshooting a manic customer's account - especially after they'd informed me of every step in their painfully haphazard, buckshot approach to the scientific method ("After exhausting myself trying to change permissions on each file, one at a time, I said, 'Screw it,' and set ALL of them to 777 - and guess what? - it worked! Yippee!") But a note would've been nice.
Because now I don't know if I just hurt myself with some stupid user error, of if they really locked me out - and if they locked me out, was it for the very sensible purpose of preventing me from altering anything while they helped me to resolve all my issues, or was it just to shut me down and shut me up, once and for all?
I'm tempted to start all over again in a brand new directory. So there. See how important it is to COMMUNICATE? Grrrrr.
No, patience is not one of my virtues. Why do you ask?