HEY, I did it!!!
I ripped both sleeves back to before the steeks and join, and tried again. I realized that I was making a mistake and trying to put in a SSK on the wrong row and that, plus being unsure about binding off the sleeve stitches, was what was giving me trouble.
Now I have the sleeves joined into one sleeve blob, and I've done a few rows on it. So far my work is lining up with the chart correctly!
I'm a little worried my gauge might have changed a bit, but this is the sleeve cap so I am just going to slog through and do another gauge swatch before beginning the body.
Thanks for all the encouragement and help!!!!
I am sure I will be back at some point to get help with the steeking. I'm actually not afraid of cutting the knitting as much as I am of sewing machines (being that I don't have one). I'm planning to do crocheted fastening for the steek edges.