This just in from support:
Sorry about that, your mysql server "odie" failed and we had to move your services to a new server called "ren", it is now fixed and your services are fine, sorry about that, you can read more about what happened on our status page here http://www.dreamhoststatus.com/
Well, that just about sums it up. It was a pain to have mysql outages, but the solution Dreamhost provided is good (swapping servers), and the personalized apology and notification are good customer service practices. So far I'll stick with dreamhost, pretty satisfied so far.