update, just cleaned out the maf sensor and noticed there was quite a bit of oil pooling up in the intake hoses. however, the actual maf sensor didn't look that dirty. i cleared the fault codes with durametrics and went for a drive.
no luck, same problem persists with the engine "choking" and cutting poewr a little after 3000K rpm. the check engine light went flashing for about 30 secs before it disappeared. i checked durametrics and no codes came up? (not even the one i had before)
i am out of ideas so if anyone could chime in that'd be great. would failed cats do this? i'm also thinking it's possible my friend was right with the bad tank of gas?