My fave tools so far:
Humm... Yes, that sounds about right for a novice. Just some things I'd like to point out:
The Lasso is great for rough selections, but may leave you wanting if you desire a more refined edge, and for many rough selections the rectangular marquee is quicker, but for messing around that's just fine. One thing you should be aware of, so you're not terrified of it later, is the 'refined edge' window - you can access it by having an active selection (the marching ants), right-clicking the canvas (with whatever selection tool still active) and clicking 'Refine Edge...'. Here you can feather, include/exclude items that are right on the edge of the selection, n'such. Look up a youtube tutorial with someone using it and try to cut out something from an image using it, sort of like what you did for your avi.
Quick Select, in spite of how powerful it may seem at first, doesn't give you the control that I find myself wanting over my projects. But, meh, I haven't mastered it, perhaps you will.
Blur, and Smudge... along with Burn, Dodge, n'such are... not quite evil... but definitely nefarious. Haven't seen too many opportunities (beside photo-retouch) where they're useful instead of destructive... Sharpen, however, has its uses in moderation - for those times where a full-canvas filter is overkill, but should (again) be used in *moderation*.
As for filters, yeah, those things are fun, just don't get carried away with them - you could just be playing around (trying this'n'that) and build up too many actions in your history. Then, when you're done messing around, you want to go back to a previous state of your work, and lose the opportunity because it's been recycled out of your computer's memory... But this'll happen to you anyway sometimes, just be aware of it.