Others have this same problem. It seems in iPhoto 08 it wasn't as bad. I'm going to have to delete this library and try again.
I do have version 7.1.2. I'm going to update to 7.1.4 before I do anything else.
Question: when the mac first booted it soon asked if I wanted to check for updates. I clicked yes - and it updated a bunch of stuff. Why wasn't iPhoto updated?!?