Home > Doogie Howser Diary > [April, 1990] New Technology, Same Drama

[April, 1990] New Technology, Same Drama

they don’t make them like they used to (this is a good thing)

In the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, I was fond of the show Doogie Howser, M.D. in which a young Neil Patrick Harris played a prodigy whose impressive memory and passion for medicine helped him become a doctor at 14. On top of dealing with the stresses of being a practitioner, Doogie had to navigate the everyday pressures and dramas of puberty. Keeping a journal helped him make sense of it all, only he didn’t use paper, he used a computer (twenty years ago, this was pretty damn revolutionary). At the end of every episode, he would type away his insights. As the white words scrolled along the blue screen, many a night I felt like I learned something from his experiences too.

Around the time the show aired, my parents got me a computer. It cost about $3,000  (!) and I used it to write a handful of term papers and play hundreds of hours of Tetris. For a couple of months, I also used it to keep an electronic journal. I thought it would be fun to experiment with a new format and figured it would provide a safe place to keep my private thoughts private (how things change).  Tucked into the back pages of the composition book journal are several printed out pages  (dot matrix style) from my “Doogie diary.” This is the first entry:

April 2, 1990

Dear Journal,

Today in Music (class) we saw the tape of some of the talent show and during my act Mrs. Angelo said to me and Elaine

“Look at Mitchell (Also known as: two-timing sleaze-ball), he’s blushing!”

So we turn sideways and he was all red!

I wonder what that means…maybe he kind of misses me after all…

Well since we’re on the topic of sleaze-ball, and sleaze-ball is going out with Rose I’ll tell you what’s up with her.

First of all, I had a fight with her, so we’re not really on speaking terms. Also, some of Sam P’s friends are having a surprise birthday party for him and I’m invited to it. I kind of have a crush on Sam, and I know that he just likes me as a friend, but after the surprise party, who knows what could happen!

Also, Passover is coming soon and I am going to my cousin Anna’s house on April 10 and sleep over. I just can’t wait until Spring\Passover\Easter vacation!

For the talent show, I sang what was at the time my favorite song: “Foolish Beat” by Debbie Gibson. I don’t know whether my sentimental musical rendition had anything to do with Mitchell blushing, or what the fight with Rose was over, but there was tension between the three of us. None of us could communicate it in any real way, so instead the awkwardness grew.

Meanwhile, I plotted my revenge…

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  1. February 3, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Oh…Foolish Beat! Not heard that one in years… around the time that was a hit, I used to listen to it on the radio and think about a girl I met on holiday from England and wonder if I’d ever see her again (I didn’t…)

    I did the “computer diary” for a while in the 1990s as well, mainly when I found out my mum was going through my stuff (including my penpal letters and paper diary). Sadly, this was on an Atari ST, so although I’ve probably still got the entries on a floppy somewhere, they’re pretty much unreadable 😦

    Enjoy the blog, by the way – an interesting concept – will look forward to reading more!

  2. February 3, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    I love that you’ve rechristened Mitchell as “sleazeball.” LOVE!

    Also, the cost-to-functionality ratio of late ’80s computing is MIND-BLOWING.

  3. 1234M
    December 8, 2012 at 7:20 am

    thxs for the rubbish information

  4. 1234M
    December 8, 2012 at 7:21 am

    thxs means thanks 😦

  5. 1234M
    December 8, 2012 at 7:22 am

    not bad information 🙂

  1. April 16, 2010 at 12:03 pm

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