So I've spent the past couple of hours going through my copy of The OpenGL Programming Guide just basically learning more about "gl". I'm finding that I'm going to be using glut for the windowing stuff since it's super easy- and I actually seem to being a little bit of c++ and all is going well so far.
It's actually reminding me alot of what I've been doing with pdf's at work- "gl" is a state machine, and so are PDF documents. Set color, draw line. Translate, rotate, clip. Should make learning "gl" a bit easier.