That's my (and Jeff's) Editor Charlie waving at the camera, dangerously leaving his wife, the Lovely Rachel, to hold down the balloon by herself while he basks in his network television close-up. I wasn't able to watch the parade live but recorded it just to catch the Wimpy Kid balloon, and was rewarded with this bonus Thanksgiving greeting from my friend Charlie. "Hi" back at you, Bud. Feel free to pass this video around the office.
If you're interested in how the balloon got built (I am!; who wouldn't be?), Abrams Creative Director Chad W. Beckerman posted several photos and videos about it. Here's a blog post about Jeff fine-tuning its design (from which I nicked the photo below) and here's one showing the parade rehearsals. In all seriousness, I think having a balloon in the Macy's parade is a terrific piece of Americana. It only occurred to me on Thanksgiving morning that if I'd pleaded and whined and flown myself to New York City, I bet I could've pulled some strings (heh!) and gotten work as a Wimpy Kid balloon wrangler. Maybe next year. Congrats to Jeff and Charlie.
Jeff (left) and Editor Charlie inspecting the clay model from which the balloon was scaled up. (Photo by Mr. Beckerman, stolen with impunity.)