In Which We Go Back To Middle School

Diary Of A Teenage Girl

by Mylinh Trieu Nguyen

Do you remember what it was like to be an awkward insecure teenager? You’re probably shuddering with recognition right now remembering what it was like not to know where to sit at lunch, who might want to beat you up for giving them the side-eye in science class. Most of us were more Angela Chase than Juno, middle school was more Freaks And Geeks than Gossip Girl.

It’s also a lot easier than we’d like to think to regress. Sometimes just the presence of someone you knew way back when can trigger all the old feelings. How I Met Your Mother dealt with this last night, when Robin Sparkles’s ex-beau came back and gave her “associative regression syndrome” aka Revertigo.

This is when a journal comes in handy. Mylinh Trieu Nguyen kept hers, and she’s been reposting it online ten years (to the day!) after the fact. It’s nice to be know that no matter how bad, boring, or totally hopeless things may seem right now, they really did actually used to be worse. – M.L.

Mylinh Trieu in high school, probably on AOL instant messenger

April 14, 1998 12:10 am (after midnight)

Dear Journal,

Well here I am after a non-working day. My name is Mylinh Trieu. I am thirteen right now. I was born in Monterrey Park, California on October 3, 1984. I am currently living in Cathedral City. This is my actual first “diary”, or I would prefer journal. I am on spring break vacation so it is really boring. I have two brothers and one sister. My mom is a single mom, working at a salon. My mom and dad had a divorced when I was really young. Or maybe I just didn’t want to remember it. He was a really bad guy. I didn’t care for him, so it did not matter to me that much.

I am just sitting here listening to Third Eye Blind on the Desert’s Rock, KCLB. My favorite band is the Smashing Pumpkins. I really love their music. It is depressing, in my sisters point of view, but I still like them.

I am attending James Workman Middle School of technology and Arts. It is a great school of high standards. I am doing well in academics. There are a lot of cute guys here too. I like one guy, he is really handsome. I don’t know him that well and have really never talked to him before. His name is Johnathan Lopez. I’ve heard things about him but really never heard about the facts. There is also Joey Oliveros. He is really smart and I know him better than how much I know about John. Joey was dumped by this idiot, slut, girlfriend Tiffany. She flirts with everyone and she broke up with him because she was going to move away in the summer and didn’t want to hurt him then so she wanted to do it right before spring break. I think that she did it because she wanted to get other guys and needed to get rid of Joey to do so. This is only my theory though.

Well enough for one night.

Farewell, sleeptight.

newly uncovered time capsule of ancient artifacts

April 15, 1998 1:40 pm (AFTERNOON)

Dear Journal,

I really like writing down my feelings and thoughts toward subjects and people. Right now I am watching Daria. It’s a show on MTV. My friend Sarah Lankaar says I talk like Daria and think like her. Shes so fake—I mean a cartoon.

Well, I am really weird. I have a sort of low self esteem phase. It happens when I see skinny girls and how much they have. Like um…Boyfriends, cool friends, attention, and you are popular. I guess I am sort of popular in my brain. I am smart and that’s how people know me. They say, “Oh, there goes Mylinh, MISS SMARTASS!” or they just call me “Smarty.” I really like who I am and everything, but I would like to also have some of the things the other girls do and have. Sometimes I don’t…I really don’t want those things because they make a person so superficial and non-interesting because of the topics they would talk about. Some girls I know are sooo smart – deep down inside somewhere under the popular mask. They talk about stupid stuff all about them and only them.

My hobbies- I just want to bring it up – swimming – I like to do it but get bored of it when I get into the second hour of doing the strokes I hate. I have mastered breastroke. It’s my favorite. I am an okay freestyler. I like to play soccer too. I am okay at that because I was introduced just this year.

It’s soo windy outside it’s so unbelieveable. It is supposed to be hot and because of EL NINO the weather has gone wack!

Well, I might write some more later in the day!

water polo trophy plaques

April 15, 1998 3:47 pm (AfterNOON)

I would like to talk about family now. My mom came from Vietnam but her parents were a mixture. Her dad was Chinese and her mom Vietnamese. My uncle is named Steven Long Trieu. I love them very much! My sister Sony got married to James A. Smith about two years ago. He is really nice, smart, and cool. I am very happy my sister chose someome kind and someone she is attracted to. They just bought a new house in Granada Hills. It is a great environment to start a family. I like visiting them because of the activities she plans for us. My older brother Vinh graduated from USC and is now living in Los Angeles. He is a video game fanatic. He is working in Circuit City and is an electronic wizard. He has met so many movie, music, and other forms or stars. He used to work in a Virgin Megastore on Sunset Blvd. He has a roommate named Wayne. I have a younger brother named Nhan but we call him Kevin his classmates couldn’t pronounce his name. I have two dogs. They are Lotus and Lamborghini. Lotus is a pretty, sweet, kind dog. She is a reddish-orange color. Lamborghini is a dog we adopted from a police lady. She found her in Los Angeles. Lamborghini was left there, deserted by her family, that moved away. We felt sorry for her and took her into our home. We love them very much. They are both girls.

Have you noticed my handwriting is much neater? Well, I was tired last night, or should I say early this morning. I also write fast when I think too much of what to write. Well, later!

more ancient artifacts

April 15, 1998 11:09 pm (just before midnight)

We came back from Price Costco and bought a bunch of food. Speaking of food, my favorite food is Japanese. I love sushi. The feeling and taste of raw fish, rice seaweed paper, and pickled ginger in my mouth is just so yummy. I also like the California rolls because of how good the sushi master makes it at Kiyosaki. When I was younger I thought of raw fish as the grosses food on earth, but now as I grow up, I change in taste too.

I am deciding to go on a diet. NOT ANOREXCIA! I won’t go thin, but will got to tone. I really want to look nice.

I like to listen to alternative rock. Just thought you would like to know. I am just trying to write stuff about me that you, the reader, should know. I hate Hanson – the three boy/girl/whatever gender- are so gay!! My favorite basketball team is/are the Chicago Bulls.

Favorite colors: Pink, Blue, and Green(kinda). I am 4’11”, 100 lbs, reddish/brown hair, brown eyes, and tan skinned. Just watch Jay Leno right now. It is 11:38. I am bored. I miss school. I miss seeing my friends and also other “special” people like John. I like seeing his smile. I’m weird! I guess it’s just a phase of puberty. You’ll hear so much about him later on. Well goodnight, sleeptight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite!!

the author undergoing evolution

April 16, 1998 – 12:55 am

DeaR JOURNAL,

WELL, RIGHT NOW I AM WATCHING CONAN O’BRIEN ON THE LATE SHOW. HE IS SO FUNNY. THEY ARE SHOWING ELEPHANT POOP. HE PUT IT ON THE DESK (CONAN’S) AND HE JUST WAS DISGUSTED. I AM GOING TO KEEP TRYING TO WRITE IN CAPITALS, BUT IF I STOP, DON’T GET MAD!! WELL, I COOKED SPAGHETTI AND CHICKEN CHUNKS FOR DINNER. I ADDED BELL PEPPER, THAT I GRILLED BEFORE I MIXED IT IN WITH THE SAUCE. I WAS THINKING A LOT TODAY ABOUT MY WEIGHT. I AM NOT GOING TO BE ANOREXIC, BUT I WANT TO BE SKINNY! I WANT TO LOOK BETTER. I WANT TO GO BACK SWIMMING, BUT THE WEATHER IS TOO COLD. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. I WILL EXERCISE AND EAT WELL. I WILL HAVE 3 CUPS OF MILK, 8 CUPS OF WATER, 2 BANANAS, 6 STRAWBERRIES, AND MAYBE SOME CHICKEN CHUNKS! DOES THAT SOUND GOOD? I DON’T REALLY CARE WHAT PEOPLE THINK ABOUT ME, BUT I WANT TO BE FIT. YOU KNOW, WHEN I GROW UP AND GET MARRIED AND HAVE KIDS I WILL PUT THEM IN SPORTS, MAKE THEM EAT WELL AND PROVIDE A CLEAN LOVING ENVIRONMENT FOR THEM. I WANT TO START THEM WEN THEY ARE YOUNG. I THINK SWIMMING, SOCCER, ANY WATERSPORT, BASKETBALL, OR WHATEVER INTEREST THEM WILL BE FINE. I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE THEM TO ARTS TOO. LIKE MAKING CEREMIC OBJECTS, PAINTING, MOLDING, TOURS OF MUSEUMS, AND CRAFTS. INTRODUCING THEM TO NATURE IS IMPORTANT TOO. THE IMPORTANT THING FOR THEM TO LEARN ARE MORALS. I JUST WANT TO BE A GOOD PARENT. THAT WOULD BE FAR FROM NOW, BUT JUST PLANNING.

WELL, NIGHTY, NIGHT!!

Mylinh with her AZN muji pens

April 17, 1998 – 8:54 pm

HIDEE HO! JOURNALRENO! DO YOU LIKE COLOUR? WELL, I AM GOING TO WRITE IN COLOUR TODAY!! WE JUST CAME HOME FROM KIYOSAKI, THE JAPANESE RESTAURANT. IT WAS REALLY GOOD AND FILLING. WELL I AM GOING TO STOP WRITING IN CAPS. My brother just killed a black widow in our garage and it was gross! I GUESS I CAN’T STOP WRITING IN CAPS CAN I! WELL GEES!!! I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING INTERESTING TODAY SO TRY ME TOMORROW! LATER!!!!

P.S. I FOUND MY OLD CHINESE KINDERGARDEN BOOK AND I AM ADDING IT TO THE JOURNAL!

Present Day Mylinh

April 18, 1998 – 11:00 pm

Hey Journal!

So, I am siting here watching “The Adams Family.” It’s an old movie but really funny. We just finished our dinner. We had El Polo Loco. It was alright. I exercised today too. I eat right and feel good. I am going to stop eating chips and cookies at school. Maybe once a week, have a pizza or a chicken pattie. But no chips or cookies, and fries. I was doing some algebra today because of the Golden State Exams.

I hate my little brother. He is such a wimp. I hit him on the hand because he was saying how perfect his hands were and how ugly my were compared to his. I hit him like not even hard and he totally gets into a fit! He tells my mom and crys about it. My mom tells me that if my brother ever says a bad word, then it is my fault because I made him mad! Its all my fault isn’t it! I’m the smart one! I can’t wait to go to college and leave from the blaming and pressure! Sleep!!!

P.S. This journal is going to help me a lot!

Photo by Ye Rin Mok

MORE OF THE (MODERN) MYLINH

Mylinh’s Flickr

Mylinh’s Blog

ASDF Makes

forever is not long enough

SONGS FOR LONG HARD LONELY NIGHTS:

Dear Doctor (acoustic)” – The Rolling Stones

Dead Flowers (acoustic)” – The Rolling Stones

Angie (acoustic)” – The Rolling Stones

PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING:

This Recording On Childhood

This Recording On Adolescence

TR Takes You Behind The Middle School And Gets You Pregnant

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