Here's a screenshot of my activity monitor. Does anything look odd?
Screenshot is one way. I would have just used File -> Save and get a text file.
I closed finder and tried re-programming and got the same crash result.
Yeah, I wasn't suggesting Finder was a problem. Just pointing out that *everyone* claims "nothing is running in the background", when there is always a bunch of stuff running in the background. For example, did you know whatever game you installed also runs a background task called "CrossOver CD Helper" on startup?
Is there a way to check my compiler version in the terminal or other things that the Arduino Processing IDE uses? Maybe I need to update avrdude? although I'm not sure how.
All of the Arduino tools are included inside of the Application Bundle. So there really isn't anything to "update" on OSX. You would just run another instance of the Arduino.app.
I also just reinstalled a fresh Arduino 1.0 for mac version to no success.
What if you try running (because there is no "installing") version 0023?
The only other lead I'm thinking of right now is that I still don't understand why I didn't have that directory which holds the preferences file I mentioned earlier.
Yes you do, it is hidden in Lion. You can either access it from the Terminal or with Finder selected open "Go -> Go to Folder" and type in that path (/Users/<name>/Library/Arduino)