I had noticed the same thing the past several days on my Drupal powered site. Don't worry, you are not alone.
You probably just hit a very bad time in Dreamhost land; call it ironic (or just cruddy), but right now Dreamhost is having some serious performance issues with a large portion of their servers (one of the more serious outages Dreamhost has had in a long time) - most notably this post describes the problems:
Incidentally, if you want to see if Dreamhost is having any serious problems, you should always check status.dreamhost.com (or dreamhoststatus.com) first.
If your Web server is not one of the ones listed on their status entry, you would be best served opening a ticket through your panel on the contact section so they can investigate why.
You may also want to log in through your SSH shell and type the command 'uptime'.
Uptime spits out three numbers known as your load average - if these numbers are over 1.00, it's usually indicative of a problem. Mine, for instance, right now is over 40. That's not so good. My server is listed as having serious problems, however - so I'm just waiting patiently
I hope this helps!
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