thanks, i did a kill -9 and ended up with a wonderful situation as illustrated in point 3. 2nd time around, I decided to let it shut down cleanly and referred everyone waiting on me to this post.
Just a note on optimizing InnoDB tablespace:
1. read up on using innodb_file_per_table option
2. in order to optimize disk usage of innodb tables with this option set, you can run ‘alter table `your_table` engine=innodb’ to perform the equivalent of an innodb defrag 😉