Well, apparently, keeping the main window of AIM open while a CD is encoding drastically slows it down. Once I realized this, I cast it out to the taskbar and Nero speeded up signifigantly.
The result of this was, it wasn't over until almost midnight. And being up late the night before, I barely made it through the episode and promptly passed out.
So...my lunch didn't get made. Well, I refused to go out today. So I hit the vending machine to save money and look at the healthy lunch I had: