*Snicker* On the one good day I had with a new battery, I noticed the AC acting strange when I got home but figured I had messed with the dial maybe that control I was going out. Then while we were trying to figure out why the battery was draining, I noticed that the AC was still messing up. It cycled through blowing out of all the vents and I hadn't touched the controls for it.
The issue draining the battery: a relay that was telling the AC to cycle even when the car was completely shut off.
So I have a double sense of vindications. I'm back in my car and comfortable with driving again, and girl was right about macho engine stuff. :D