he couldn't admit to me that the worm or something else hit their dns servers and that's why i couldn't get shit through...
the first idiot told me that i myself was infected with the worm and that i needed to call a special # for instructions on how to get rid of it
only after i hung up did it hit me that my linux box wasn't pinging anything either, so it definitely wasn't the worm.
the second schmuck made me disconnect my router and run the connection directly through the cable modem. well, that sorta helped.. i got the connection back. of course, he couldn't explain what exactly was wrong and i was supposed to be happy with getting at least something fixed
any case.. i plugged my router back in (which was, by the way, getting the signal from the cable gateway just fine) and noticed that it was now using different dns servers from what i had originally set up in my tcp/ip connection.
i guess two of their servers went down, and he didn't even know about it.
oh wells, i'm glad i'm back on! wheeee :D