Looks like I fried my laptop's internal modem. There was a really loud electrical buzzing on my phone line and I called to have a telephone repair guy come out to take a look at what the problem was. He (the repair guy) told me that there was a short somewhere in the house. He had me unplug everything from the phone jacks in the house and he retested the line. The buzzing went away. I connected one phone at a time and as soon as I plugged my laptop in, the short appeared along with the buzzing.
I decided to plug in my external modem to see if that was okay, and it was. So now I have my laptop hooked up to my external modem and all seems to be okay again.
I have absolutely no idea how much it will cost to replace my laptop's modem, or even if it is possible, but I've decided to just forget about it and continue to use the external modem.
Now since there was nothing wrong with the wiring outside of my apartment, I'll get billed $60 for this "repair."