because i decided to do a fresh install to narrow down a rogue plugin, when reinstalling plugins, such as dynamic widgets, i forgot that dynamic widgets was one of the few that "required" to be activated on each site, in my case the main blog, in order for it to work properly.
in other words, do not network activate the plugin, you can install via the network admin, but just activate on each site you plan to use it on.
since i didn't see anyone else in the last few pages discuss issues w/ multisite, i hope the author doesn't mind me leaving this note for others if they encounter a similar issue and ignore re-reading the faq section like myself. ;)
feel free to close the topic as resolved. and 'thank you' for offering such a very useful tool (plugin) to the community. :)