I don't know exactly how, but I got my two computers to talk to each other tonight. It remains a mystery what combination of keystrokes did the trick, but I opened my laptop while waiting for the desktop to do something, and lo and behold, I could see the desktop on the laptop.
I should have been finishing the post I started before the holidays where I reflect on my reading habits last year. I should have been telling you about my extended visit home. Heck, I should have been editing and uploading my Christmas pictures. But now I can do all of that from anywhere on either computer, provided they are both on at the same time.
More witty and inciteful posts later. I'm going to go celebrate now with a cup of warm milk!