Looks like I have found a way back into my OS for anyone that fell for the same thing I did. Here is what I had to do to get things going again:
Boot normally until system gets stuck and hit Ctrl+Alt+F1 (or just boot into recovery mode root shell if you would rather do that). I logged in normally at the new terminal window and checked out the kern.log file in /var/log. There I found an old nemesis error called ERROR: ld.so: object 'libesets_pac.so' from /etc/ld.so.preload cannot be preloaded: ignored.
So, I used the following fix from http://askubuntu.com/questions/14810...-xubuntu-12-04 in order to get back to the desktop:
and deleted the line with libesets_pac.so
sudo vi /etc/ld.so.preload
and saved the file using :wq
not sure if the next one was necessary or not, but I did it anyway:
I added the line /opt/eset/esets/sbin/esets_daemon on the line before "exit 0" and saved using :wq again.
sudo vi /etc/rc.local
After a reboot I was able to log in to Ubuntu normally and then ran the NOD32 uninstaller. After it did its thing and rebooted, I had to remove the line from /etc/rc.local that I had added, saved, and rebooted one more time.
Now everything appears to be back in order, and I wrote a little note to Eset asking them to put a slightly larger warning on the installer package explaining that it is the bringer of death upon newer versions of Ubuntu x64. Hope this helps someone in the future!