I got the hood open!!!!! Thanks guys. I used a coat hanger and was able to snag the thing-a-ma-jig that the cable hooks to, pulled on it and then pulled on the hood release a few times and the bee-yew-tiiii-fullll "pop" sound of the hood opening flushed me with joy! I need to do some things under the hood and am waiting for my clear corners, so I put a piece of cardboard so that the hood will remain open. I'll fix the hood release cable/mechanism later. Is there a way to tighten the cable? Thanks guys!
BTW, I did a search, and I was amazed how often this problem is! I guess I am not alone!