I really don't remember how I first found MetaFilter, but it was probably through a yahoo "site of the day" mention sometime in 2001. I was a reader and a lurker for a long while before I finally got up the nerve to even want to join, at which point signups were closed. It took me a little bit after that to find the then-secret "back door" through which I snuck. After several years of near-frantic obsession, I'm posting as Curious Artificer now and trying to moderate my involvement, but I've never really gone away since.
I got a drunken phone call from a famous Portuguese author
One very late night during a very drunken MetaFilter/9622.net/IRC chat session MiguelCardoso started asking for our phone numbers. Of course, I volunteered mine and immediately regretted it when the phone on the desk behind me started to ring. It's a weird feeling when an experience you have only previously had as "virtual" suddenly crashes headlong into reality.
I'm glad I picked it up, though, for perhaps the oddest phone call I have ever had. It was clear to me that once he placed the call he realized he didn't have the slightest idea what to say either, and that he was having much the same odd disjointed feeling I was having a couple thousand-some odd miles away.
However, I can report that Miguel sounds exactly like what you would expect him to sound like.