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Just finished off my most recent Featured Fursuiter of the Month article for the Furry News Network (FNN), and I was lucky to get J.D. Puppy for this month's feature.  He was awesome to interview and one guy I've been wanting to get to know for a long time.

The FNN Featured Fursuiter of the Month is a bi-monthly profile series where every other month I will choose one well-recognized figure in the fandom’s fursuiting community, offering a unique “behind the mask” look at their characters and lives outside of fursuiting, as well as how they found the furry fandom.

Though they are a lot of work (much more so than anything I write for my actual journalism job) I thoroughly enjoy doing these as they allow a unique take on the fandom that people don't often get to see, as well as portraying the positive side of furries.

Here's the story, enjoy!

April FFoTM - J.D. Puppy: Experienced mascot performer, ballroom dancer is also everyone's 'Buddy'

And in case you missed them, here are my previous features.  They are now published bi-monthly, so the next one will be released the first weekend of June.

February 2012 - Skroy

December 2011 - Bucktown Tiger

October 2011 - Kiwa Lyon

September 2011 - Nicodemus Rat

August 2011 - Dogbomb

July 2011 - Yippee Coyote

26 years ago today, a lion was born....

and promptly dropped on his head!
Well maybe not, but that'd at least explain all the derp moments I've had recently that comes with "old age"!
Today is my 26th birthday and I want to thank everyone out there that I have interacted with in person, online, at cons or local meets in the past nearly 4 years I've been in the fandom. Whether you know me personally or are just a fan of my videos, of my public fursuiting adventures, or share my vision of bringing joy to others by donning a giant fuzzy animal costume and a bringing a positive reputation to the furry fandom... without you guys I'd truly have nothing.
As I enjoy my special day (which will include at least one trip to Denny's) I'll be thinking of all you guys.
*big hugs*

Kijani's complete FC 2012 video library

After working more hours than I can count on videos from FC this year, I finally finished today! Enjoy reliving memories from what was a very enjoyable con.

Click on the titles to go directly to the video page, and descriptions are below.

FURSUITING FUN AT FC 2012
Topping off my videos from FC 2012 is this fun compilation of random fursuiting fun times from just wandering around the convention space at the Marriott and San Jose Convention Center over the weekend. There were so many great suits this year, I always made sure to have my camera on me because you never knew what you'd see next! I love doing these types of videos!

FURSUITING FUN WITH KIJANI AT FC 2012
Fortunately I did get to suit quite a bit at FC this year, so here is a compilation video of fun times at FC in suit this year with Kijani doing what he does best... playing with big balls, messing with the high school volleyball players that shared the convention center with us, dancing the night away and most importantly giving lots of hugs and love to those kind furs that enjoy his public fursuiting and video work. I really appreciated all the kind words and support, and Thank You All for helping make my FC 2012 experience a great one!

FURSUIT PARADE
An amazing 458 suits were in the parade this year... that's a lot of fur! It's missing the last couple minutes, but I provided a link at the end so people can see the rest of the suits.

CRITTERLYMPICS - FURSUIT GAMES
Sunday morning at FC 2012 saw more than 30 sleep-deprived and/or hung over fursuiters battle it out for species supremacy. Like "Whose Line is it Anyway," the points don't matter, and LOTS of laughs were to be had!

CRITTERLYMPICS - MUSICAL CHAIRS
The Critterlympics finale was so epic, it definitely deserved its own video. I did quite well this year, but if you want to see some fur fly, watch 32 fursuiters fight over 15 chairs in the first cut. Brutal!

EXOTIC ANIMAL SHOW
On Saturday morning at FC 2012 there was a live animal exhibit featuring a lemur, fennec fox and all sorts of domesticated exotic cats from 13th Street Cats out of San Jose, one of the convention charities this year.

MASQUERADE
As always, the FC Masquerade is a showcase of some of the fandom's finest work, and this year was no exception! Enjoy this video that shows (almost) all the individual acts as well as the awards ceremony at the end.

FC: UNLEASHED!

I JUST CAN'T WAIT FOR FC
FC: Unleashed's opening number was this fun parody of the popular Lion King song, "I Just Can't Wait to be King". Featuring Wolfpup TK, Bucker Fuskyote and Rocky Raccoon.

FC: UNLEASHED - I'M PAWESOME
This "pawesome" furry rap was performed by Fennic Fox and Whiskey Foxtrot. These guys can rhyme with the best of em!

FC: UNLEASHED - DEATHLY DEPARTED
This unique skit features Tobias as a employee for a business that is "to die for." Final act of FC: Unleashed 2012.

FC: UNLEASHED - CHEKHOV'S HOSPITAL
This amazing skit was the most well-choreographed fursuit performance I've ever seen at a convention! Watch, be astounded, and enjoy :)

The Lynx Dr: Kannik, worn by Kannik
The Magpie Dr: Picardy, worn by Reveille
The Nurse: Chance, worn by WhiteFox
The Patient: Firewolf, worn by Torrle
(Thanks Kannik!)

Chekov's Hospital won both the Audience Choice award as well as 1st place from the Judges' panel. Well deserved!

FURSUIT DANCE COMPETITION
The "FCDC" was intense and tons of fun this year! To go to an individual's dance in the Choreographed Division just click their name.

FURSUIT DANCE COMPETITION HIGHLIGHT REEL - CHOREOGRAPHY DIVISION
As I like to do for every dance competition, here's my Highlight Reel featuring clips of each of the 11 fursuiters that made the finals of the Further Confusion Dance Competition this year in the Choreography division.

CHOREOGRAPHY DIVISION ENTRIES - TOP FINISHERS

SILVERWOLF (1st Place)
REY REY (2nd Place)
TOBIAS (3rd Place)

OTHER ENTRANTS, ALPHABETICAL ORDER

APEXI
JJ Fox
KIT-KAT
NEUROTIC
REO
SASHO
SHADOW
TSUKAZA


FREESTYLE DIVISION - ONE-ON-ONE ELIMINATION BRACKET

FIRST ROUND: VALENTINO VS. NOVA
FIRST ROUND: HOWEE VS. WILDCHILD
FIRST ROUND: DORYUU VS. PHOR DINGO
SEMIFINALS: HOWEE VS. PHOR DINGO
SEMIFINALS: MONK-A VS. VALENTINO
FINALS: MONK-A VS. PHOR DINGO


Shout out to Ace Lonewolf for taking video while I was in suit, thanks dude!

Fursuiting on Christmas Eve in Seattle!



Hope everybody out there had a wonderful holiday, whatever you choose to celebrate :)

I had a nice one with my family as usual... and somehow managed to make it to a very impromptu fursuiting outing suggested by Isak on Christmas Eve at Seattle Center, which had lots of fun family-friendly activities going on for the holidays, a perfect suiting venue!

This was a ton of fun and really made my Christmas one to remember. By far the most memorable moment though was when Isak, dressed as a reindeer with jingle bells, came across a couple Asian youngsters, maybe 5 or 6 years old, and they started singing 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer' and dancing around, and they were getting the words wrong like 'You could even say it SNOWS' It was so adorably cute!

Warm holiday wishes to everyone out there Merry Christmas!


Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Today seems a very appropriate time to post this, the highly-anticipated Third Edition of my video series: Fursuiting: For the kids, and the kid in all of us, a gift to my Youtube subscribers and really everyone in the Furry fandom! I am so thankful to you all for your support and for the opportunity to inspire and bring joy to others through fursuiting.

After the second edition got nearly 14,000 views in 11 months and many people told me this video series inspired them and brightened their day, I figured it was time to put out another one with some of my best footage from the past year.

As always, I mixed in some awesome still photos from my archives and some more uplifting, positive music for your enjoyment.

I never anticipated the tremendous positive response I got from the first two "Fursuiting" videos and I am excited and thrilled to present this to you all and hope you enjoy it.

There is truly nothing like putting on a costume and brightening someone's day by giving them a hug or high-five, especially children.

Seeing them light up with those smiles and laughter that you have created reminds you of the "magic" that fursuiters have, the ability to suspend the notion of reality as you perform in character for others.

I hope this puts a smile on your face and reminds you of that special gift that fursuiters have.

Thanks very much for watching!
Kijani Lion

Won my first bowling tournament today!

I love hearing about other's personal successes, I use them as inspiration to better my life or improve myself in some way and I truly enjoy it when my friends achieve great things, whatever they may be.
Today, I have my own to share.

Today was the second annual Oktoberfest Tournament at Kenmore Lanes, the same bowling center that hosted all the most recent When Furballs Strike meets that I run.

Up until today, I have bowled at least 6 or 8 events as an adult, and never once even cashed (finished high enough to earn a prize check).  I've been nothing but donate to the prize funds my whole life, and I decided that today that was going to change.

As many of you might have heard, I suffered a severe hand injury last April that took me out of bowling for over one month, it was a sprained tendon in my bowling hand.

After recovering from that, I practiced and practiced and worked on my game, at least twice a week.
There were 25 bowlers in the field today, and there were quite a few very good players in the group as well, it would be no cake walk for sure.

I got off to a pretty good start in the 5-game qualifying block, shooting 205, 235, 205 and 221 before dropping to a 190 something in the last game to drop to fourth place overall, which was fine because the top 8 made the cut to match play.

Match play was 5 more head-to-head games against a single opponent, and if you won you got +20 bonus pins.  I really struggled in my first two games and dropped to 6th and was fading fast. I knew what I HAD to do, but I just wasn't executing my shots.  At that moment, the start of the 3rd game, I had to kick my ass into gear in order to stop my free fall down the leaderboard.

All that practice, that preparation, that training my muscle memory to take over and deliver that 16 pound ball over my target, I needed to pull it together right now.

And I did.

In game three, I started with six of the first seven strikes in a row en route to a 269, my highest game of the tournament which vaulted me up to 2nd place...

9/ X X X X X X 9/ X XXX

And then I closed in the very last game with a 237 to take the top qualifier spot for the finals by ONE PIN, 1209 to 1208 over a very good bowler who I've played against before.

So that meant I only needed to win one more game to win the title, and I was getting nervous.  I've never ever been in this position before in my life, and I've been bowling competitively for 10 years... and the guy that made the championship match to face me was a really nice guy who had suffered a broken hand a few years ago and sustained permanent nerve damage in his hand, and made a miraculous comeback to bowling just recently.

When his wife told me his story I almost teared up, it was so amazing.

In the end though, he struggled in the match when I coasted to a 246-176 victory to be crowned the 2011 Oktoberfest Champion!

I bowled at Kenmore for many, many years and worked there for 7 years too, so to get my first win in that bowling center was so special and it meant all my hard work and dedication to the sport of bowling paid off :D

The message I want to send to all my friends out there in the fandom is that good things will come to those who wait.  I went from never even making a check before in a tournament to the very top, all in one fell swoop - today I caught a lot of good breaks and things evened out in a big way.  

Life can get you down in many ways, but keep plugging along, don't give up and keep trying to better yourself and those around you and eventually, things will turn around.

Thanks so much for reading, and now off to celebrate!  First round is on me!

Kijani
2011 Greater Seattle USBC Oktoberfest Champion

Just letting everyone know I've posted the October Fursuiter of the Month feature on Furry News Network (FNN).

If you're unfamiliar with the series, the FFotM is a profile series where I feature one well-recognized figure in the fandom's fursuiting community. In the story I try to offer a unique, "behind the mask" look at their characters, their lives outside of fursuiting, as well as how they came across the furry fandom.  As a journalist I love hearing other people's stories and presenting them to you guys!

Went a little outside the box this month with Kiwa Lyon, but he is an awesome guy and a pleasure to interview.  And I'm sure if anyone has seen his character at cons, he's not easily forgotten! Kiwa gave me a ton of great quotes and information and I think this is my best "furry" journalism work so far :)  Enjoy!

Kiwa Lyon: An Outcast No More



And if you missed any of my previous Fursuiter of the Month Features, here are the links if you'd like to have a read:

July - Furry Veteran Yippee Coyote has left his mark on the fandom

August - Dogbomb: Not your ordinary Californian canine

September - Nicodemus: A rat of many talents






After a fantastic experience performing at the wonderful Issaquah Salmon Days Festival in 2010, our local community fursuiting group Anthropaws was invited back as "Ohfishal" entertainment for the 2011 event, which was very appropriately themed "Wild Things." These videos feature highlights from last weekend's fursuiting action at the Salmon Hatchery, Field of Fun Kid's area and Rock This Way Blvd on the festival grounds.
I was in charge of assembling a great crew of fursuit performers and handlers for this, and while we did run short-handed both days due to people backing out or not showing up, we made it work and everyone had an awesome time.

This is what public fursuiting is about, getting out there and putting smiles on people's faces and bringing joy to kids and kids at heart!

Fursuiters: 
Redclaw
Silver R. Wolfe
Odakota
Da'alrakken (as Reo)
Niko (as Icazo)
Sir Crimson Fox
Axelroo (as Fizzle)
Nitroshep
Skookumpaws (as Charger, with Gunner the Leonberger)
Kijani (as Kato)
Cloudy
Thanks to all our handlers as well for helping out, and Ithabise for his instrumental role with Anthropaws in getting us back in the festival and doing a lot of the behind-the-scenes work.

Worked my tail off on my RF videos this year and got them done! Here's all my video work for the con this year, enjoy the memories of a great convention!

Links are embedded in the actual video titles.

FURSUIT PARADE
Video from the Rainfurrest 2011 Fursuit Parade. Although there was no official count this year given at Closing Ceremonies, I counted (give or take a few) an amazing 244 suits in the parade this year!

FURSUIT DANCE FUN AT RAINFURREST 2011
I attended the epic dances every night at Rainfurrest 2011 (put on by Fur the Record) and have put together this compilation video showing the awesome fun that was had by all the attendees in the Hilton Convention Center's main ballroom.
Thanks to FTR for the work they did making the dances happen and all the DJs for keeping the beats going well into the night.

FURSUITING FUN AT RAINFURREST 2011
This fun compilation video features lots of random fursuit fun times at RF 2011, including footage from the epic Fur the Record dances.
I had a blast making this video and hope you enjoy the memories of a great con, if you've never been to a furry convention this is what you're missing!

FAST FOOD FURSUITING II
The long-awaited sequel to "Fast Food Fursuiting with Ithabise" from All Fur Fun in 2009, this time in suit we have Ithabise, Dyno and Fizzle taking the lengthy trek from the Seattle Airport Hilton to the Jack in the Box for some noms, with lots of hilarity thrown in between.

DOGBOMB'S SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY
Teh Desoto wanted to do a private surprise party on Sunday at Rainfurrest for dogbomb dogbomb's birthday which was the 27th of September... somehow we crammed 15 furries into a small hotel room at the Clarion and gave the old mutt the surprise of his life!
I was the organizational lead for the party and got the desserts, and ordered the birthday banner in the video so he will always remember his first Rainfurrest :)
This was soooo much fun to be a part of and I know he appreciated all of his friends being there.
Happy Birthday Dogbomb!


VARIETY SHOW HIGHLIGHTS

BUCKER FUSKYOTE
My man Bucker entertained a capacity crowd on Saturday night at RF 2011, playing the banjo and guitar along with the drum accompaniment of the one and only Alexander James Adams.
I'm always looking forward to what he will perform at the next con's variety show!

ANIMALS ALL THE SAME - ALEXANDER JAMES ADAMS
Furry minstrel, songwriter and musician Alexander James Adams wowed the crowd at the RF 2011 Variety Show with an original song he wrote while at his first fur con many years back.
I thought the lyrics to this were beautiful and it was very well done by one of the fandom's great talents.

DRUMMER FOX/DREWFUS T. FOX - I'M NO SUPERMAN
Drummer Fox and Drewfus Teh Fox combined on vocals and guitar for this cover of Lazlo Bane's hit song I'm No Superman (Scrubs soundtrack). They did great for being called on short notice!

THE PUPPY WHO WOULD BE POPE - MORRIS STEGOSAURUS
Morris Stegosaurus performed a phenomenal poetry reading titled "The Puppy Who Would Be Pope" at the RF 2011 Variety Show. Watch and be utterly captivated by his words and epic delivery.

MY ENORMOUS FURSUIT
Groggy Fox (as Doppler) and company performed a funny skit based on a very popular song and video that went viral, changing out one NSFW word to something a little more PG ;)

ROOM PARTY
Amped and (a lot of) friends joined together for this parody skit based off of... well... if I need to explain it to you... go to Youtube and type in Room 366

Uno
Dos
Tres
CUATRO!

PANELS

PROFESSIONAL FURSUITING
This informative panel at RF 2011 discussed the differences between fursuiting in a convention environment and professional mascot work - mainly the pitfalls and things to watch out for. If you've ever wanted to get paid to fursuit, watch and learn!

Panelists: Aphinity, Ithabise and Salen (spelling probably incorrect)

FURSUITING BEYOND THE FANDOM
Are you interested in taking your fursuit beyond the walls of a convention and out into the public? Here are some things to keep in mind. Lots of panelists for this one (including myself) woke up early Sunday morning to espouse their knowledge.

Panelists: Aphinity, Kodipup, Ithabise, kijanilion, axelroo axelroo, Chainwolf

FURSUIT PERFORMANCE
If you want to improve your ability to perform and express yourself in fursuit, this GREAT panel at RF 2011 will help you refine your technique. I came to this panel originally just to take video but was called up as a panelist and I was glad to be a part of this one - it went very well.

Panelists: Aphinity, Kijani, Ithabise - and thanks to Axelroo (Fizzle) and Chainwolf as our demonstrators.

Public Fursuiting Fun at Bothell RiverFest



It was that time of year again, the much-anticipated final weekend of August for my hometown of Bothell, Washington's annual Riverfest event.  The theme was "Family Fun and then some" and celebrates Bothell's heritage with an antique car show, vendors, inflatable amusements for the kids, and live entertainment.

Bothell is an extremely furry-friendly town and the kids and adults alike absolutely loved the suits and the characters. We had a great crew of eight fursuiters and a whole bunch of handlers out for a good time and it was a beautiful day as well. So much fun!

HUGE thanks to Dolphin Echo for shooting the raw video and doing a great job as always. (Edited by me)

Featuring in suit:

ithabise  ithabise (as Dyno)

redclawtheotter  redclawtheotter

drex150  drex150

kipper  kipper (as Poncho)

sairyswolf  sairyswolf

carson10us  carson10us

tojo-the-thief  tojo-the-thief (as Singha Lion, this was her public suiting debut! She did great!)

kijanilion  kijanilion

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