i found the problem with apache, and it turns out to be doglady.
doglady had installed a file sharing program on one of my computers, and incoming requests to that program were being sent through the same place web requests go through. this overloaded my web server.
in the meantime i dropped back from debian sid to sarge. i may start tracking etch on the server, but not just yet.
so anyway, the blog is back up. i apologize for the downtime.