So during my last summer check-in, you got the scoop on exactly how I am spending my summer. I explained what I do at work, the fact that I am taking an LSAT class, how I am doing the Insanity workouts, and the way I am spending my free time (read all about that stuff here in case you missed it). I will definitely provide some exciting updates on all those elements in my next post. But today, I really want to have Real Talk. My head is all over the place right now, but in no order of importance, I would love to share with you a few of my random, recurring thoughts/opinions, things I am learning about myself, and experiences a little more personal than I would normally cover. This summer has been incredible for me in so many ways. Lately, I’ve really started to come into my own. I think I’m finally starting to understand not only who I am, but what I value. I will try to outline a little bit of what I’m trying to say in a way that is somewhat comprehensible:)


The 90’s really were all that…Well definitely not in the fashion department, but that decade sure spawned some great music…

If you caught the Garbage reference in the title of this post, then +5 to you Sir/Ma’am. Anyone that knows me will tell you about my love for all things 90s, except for maybe the denim:p No but seriously, what an incredible decade for music! Sometimes I find it strange that at least 30% of the music I choose to listen to on a daily basis includes hits and artists that topped the charts in the 90s. After all, I was only a small child when the likes of Pearl Jam, Eve 6, Sugar Ray, and Oasis (to name a few) were riding atop the Billboard Hot 100. However, over the last week, as I listened to Lit’s catchy “My Own Worst Enemy,” Brian McKnight’s heartfelt “Back at One,” and Everlast’s humbling “What it’s Like” all on the radio on my way to work, I realized something important.It couldn’t just be me that felt this intense love and connection to this music.If over 13 years later, stations were still regularly playing these songs, there must be something special about them.

Lit topped the charts with 1999’s My Own Worst Enemy, which still receives significant radio play even today!

And there is! I’ve been going through a huge Rob Thomas/Matchbox Twenty phase lately. What made artists and various singer-songwriters/bands like Rob Thomas and Matchbox 20 so successful in the 90’s was pure, honest songwriting. It’s that same honesty and easiness to relate to that is missing from popular music today at large.

Shirley Manson fronted Garbage throughout the 90s-early 00s. She made waves with her dark eyeliner, colorful dresses, deep voice, and incredible energy

While there are the knights in shining armor (I’m looking at you Florence + the Machine) who have valiantly showed up to save the songwriting-day, they are by no means the majority. Talented female R&B acts like TLC, Lauryn Hill, Eve, and Missy Elliot have been replaced by the likes of Nicki Minaj. They joy of the one-hit-wonder alt rock band is dead. In fact, it’s a select few artists that rule the airwaves and charts with their same three or four singles played over and over again. Mainstream hip-hop is all but dead, and the few artists who have the chance to revive it (I’m looking at you Lupe Fiasco) don’t get the recognition they deserve. We’ve finally started to embrace dance and electronic music though. However, as wonderful as that genre is, I have a feeling that only a small handful of those hits are something I’ll want to be listening to in 15 years. I don’t see myself getting nostalgic for Skrillex, or a David Guetta/Flo Rida collaboration. The truth is, mainstream music just isn’t what is used to be. Lady Gaga is amusing, but I won’t care to listen to “Poker Face” when I’m thirty. Yet, I’m positive that in ten more years, Savage Garden’s “Truly Madly Deeply” will still make me secretly want to cry, that I won’t be able to resist singing along to  Third Eye Blnd’s “Semi-Charmed Life” on a sunny day, and that when “One Week” by Barenaked Ladies comes on the radio, I’ll turn it up and smile thinking about American Pie. In ten more years, my secret wish to rock a stage with the cool confidence of Gwen Stefani or Shirley Manson will not be dead. Anyway, I’m not trying to be depressing. I accept the current state of music, and there is a lot of good stuff to still be heard. It’s just that the music of the 90s and early 00s have been the sounds of my summer thus far, and I finally understand why. There is a song to complement my every mood, lyrics to describe virtually any feeling, and nostalgia to remind me of simpler times as I realize I really am growing up. And it’s times like these that I really appreciate going to ‘SC. Before coming to college, it wasn’t quite as easy to find pop culture nerds running around. Now, I have them by the dozen:)

Matchbox Twenty featured the unique lead vocals of frontman Rob Thomas, who continues to enjoy success as a solo artist. His songwriting = soundtrack for my summer

Failures in any arena can truly be a gift when used properly. I am so inspired by everything around me lately

Keeping with the whole “coming of age” bit, I’ve recently realized that I am getting so good at dealing with failure. Ok, maybe failure is a harsh word. I mostly mean that I am developing greater poise and gracefully dealing with things not going my way. Instead of solely being disappointed and dissatisfied when things don’t work out the way we expect them to, I think it’s completely possible to create/find something amazing from the situation as whole. It is this creation of something new from that which may initially be perceived as broken or failed which I am coming to embrace. To cite a specific example (without getting too juicy), this summer I had a brief romance of sorts with the cute  senior hardware engineer that worked next door to me. After we went out for the first time, he told me he was only going to be in San Diego for about a month and a half for training before ultimately working out of the Santa Clara office. Anyway, long story short, we had a great month and a half of amazing chemistry and fun times. A week after

The show I’m working on is kind of a Big Bang Theory meets Men at Work type deal, set in San Jose. The working title is “Man Jose”

leaving for Northern California, the cute engineer next door was engaged to another woman. However, the point is not that this was some tragic occurrence. Rather, I focused on this interesting new person that came into my life, and what I had learned from him. Although things didn’t exactly go the way I had imagined, my creativity (and my imagination) was sparked to no end! Through my interactions with him and my workplace at large, I received inspiration for an entirely new television concept/show. In doing my character sketches for this concept, I realized Mr.Now-Engaged would make an incredibly interesting and charming leading man (he is the child of a diplomat after all, and has grown up everywhere from Ethiopia to the UK, and holds permanent resident status in Australia) in my sitcom. We continue to be solid acquaintances, and he has shown great support for my concept and has even agreed to me interviewing him for some ideas to further develop the character he inspired. Regardless of whether or not this idea goes somewhere, the creative process and satisfaction from creating something from scratch is invaluable and incomparable to anything I may have “lost.” Instead, I gained a friend and something to work towards in the form of this show. I can’t tell you how excited I am to get back to school. It will be amazing to be in screenwriting classes again, and to have to ability to meet with peers and writing professors to discuss and improve on my ideas. I love having access to faculty who have done this stuff for a living and know the industry inside and out. I am incredibly lucky to have an avenue to those resources!


Realizing your dreams are within reach is both exhilarating and frightening at the same time! What comes next?

So at this point, I’ve realized some of my greatest passions in the form of writing, I’ve worked two internships in diverse fields, and I’ve started studying for the dreaded LSAT. All of this has been preparation in attempt to receive admission to law school, specialize in IP, and then boss it up as a patent attorney for a tech company. It’s just that the LSAT doesn’t seem so dreadful anymore, and neither does the idea of leaving school now that I’ve experienced real working environments that suited me. I really think I have the potential to achieve the things I want if I survive school:) I’m incredibly excited for this possibility, but part of me wonders, “what’s next?” Let’s say things  go my way, and I do get exactly what I want in scoring my dream job (trust me, this is a HUGE hypothetical hahaha). I’m just thinking out loud here. The point I’m getting at is that I haven’t seriously thought about what I want to do with my life since right before I started college and was forced to do so. Sure I have an idea of what I want career-wise, but there are plenty of other things to consider too. I feel like I’ve been given this incredible life, and I don’t want to waste it. I want to dream big for every step of it! So what is next on my “must do” or “need to achieve list?” Do I want to climb a mountain? See the seven wonders of the world? Champion a specific cause I’m passionate about? Run a marathon? Create something revolutionary that would get my name on a patent, instead of just being the one to write the application for it/ensure royalties get paid off of it? I really don’t know. But I really want to know! So once again, this whole self-awareness thing comes into play. I guess I should start figuring some of this stuff out:) I definitely don’t have all the answers right this second, but I just figured out that I should probably start dreaming again:) And that’s more exciting than it is frightening for sure. In the mean time, I will get ready to get back into the Viterbi swing of things. While I dream up possibilities, I will also be taking some of my most important EE classes and picking up invaluable skills and critical thinking that will always be applicable.


Donald is so pensive! I should aspire to match his inquisitive nature as I lay out what I want to do next!

Ok I realize that was a lot. But hey, that’s what Real Talk is all about. If anyone would like to have a discussion about anything from music, to fab vs. fabless models of doing business, to screenwriting, to general thoughts on the future, I am definitely open:) I can’t wait for the amazing semester that is on its way. Thanks for reading, and until next time, Fight On!



  • Hey Radhika.
    We might spend years of thinking about what will remain in our minds after decades from the things we liked/loved, when we were young(er). Guess what, everything. But we see them on a different level, changing this over time.

    For example I’m influenced by a very special genre since my early youth. Over the years I also found a lot very, very different music attractive. Never want to miss any of those memories. I keep them all in the house. But, after ~30 years I found back to the “very first love”, to say it poetically. 😉

    So, be surprised, what are your favs in your 40s or 70s. You might imagine it, but finally you will KNOW it for sure, when the time has come. And that’s still a long way to go, hopefully.

  • radhika says:

    Thanks for your comment Ava! That makes a lot of sense. I am excited to see how long this stuff stays with me, and the meaning it carries down the road:) Until then, here’s to expanding the collection!

  • A. Felsenstein says:

    Both thumbs up for your way! May the music stay as a good friend over the times 😉