Ok, I did something. I tried to remove games from the add/remove programs option. My wireless card still won't connect to my WPA network (another rant) so i had to quit removing those programs. I put the system into hibernate. I come upstairs, open the lid, and the machine never comes back up. So i held the power button to hard reboot the machine.
Here is where the fun starts. I see my standard login screen just fine. I put in my user name and password. It goes to my desktop. This time I can ONLY see the three desktop icons directly on the desktop. The header menu and footer menu are no longer visible. Keep in mind i switched back to 'classic' ubuntu desktop not that fancy dashboard of programs. So now i'm stuck here with my three icons and I can't connect to anything. I can't open a terminal, I can't do anything other than change my desktop background, and whatever options are on my desktop right-click context menu.
What the heck do I do now??