i am such an idiot and i'm sure this is such a simple fix, but... i was playing around with the 'fn' key so pressing 'fn and f12' for example. a number of the F keys didnt do anything. i must have pressed something incorrectly though because now my dock is missing. the only way to get it to appear is to go to system preferences and unhide it. i prefer it when it's hidden and i can simply move my curser over to it and it will appear. WTF did i do?! thanks!