This year, I’m celebrating the 4th of July in low-key fashion. 

I’ve eaten all my meals at Waffle House, and just slipped my neighbor’s dog a big ol’ slab of bacon - it’s gonna be a rough night for pooches nationwide, and I figure it’s the least I can do. 

My street’s alive with snaps, crackles, pops, bangs and kerpows - I’m settling in, party-pooper that I am, for an early night.

As I’m preparing to head out tomorrow for the second leg of the Train/Goo Goo Dolls tour, I’m spending this evening acknowledging the privileges that being an American has afforded me, and celebrating the people who’ve made my life here possible, namely my parents, who are currently, in glorious retirement, devouring castles made of meringue somewhere in Scandinavia, or possibly Scotland. 

They emigrated here so my sister and I could pursue our dreams. And we both are - her, with a young family and career in finance, and me, luxuriating in threadbare underpants most of the day and getting paid to bend strings out of tune. 

They are both, in their own ways, miraculous.