Turns out my card is a CardBus card, which is like a PCI device that's hot-pluggable. All it took was a 2.4 kernel, the hotplug debian package, and modifying my /etc/network/interfaces.
I also had to put the card in promiscuous mode, for some off reason, otherwise it could only send traffic, not receive it.
I could've used the pcmcia-cs tools (which I wasted many hours on) but I found out this specific card is only experimental and not recommended yet. Bleh.
But anyway.... KICK ASS. Hotplug rules. Everything's downhill from here... nothing could be worse than all that. Everything's easier with a network. Rebooting every 5 minutes was annoying.