I went from this:to this. And it only took me four hours (today). We must have worked on the fan on Thursday for also about four hours. The instructions said that it might take beginners between 4 - 5 hours. That must be if the beginners only have to do everything once. I think Melanie jinxed me because she cheerfully said, "Well, you know, three times the charm!"
And sure enough, I had to start from the beginning again today. I put the brace to high in the ceiling, so I had to take the electrical box out again, and lower the brace. Then between dropping screws and not being able to find them, not having the right tools, realizing that the nut driver is shallow, and so if you need to put a nut over a long screw - your screwed, and calling my dad about seven times, I managed to get the fan up and running. Yahoo!
And just in case anyone doubts my handiwork… here is a picture of the fan running! Look, the lights work and everything!