While brainstorming about what to write blogs about, I wanted to find a way for my readers to get to know some of the awesome people who I know. The best way I could come up with was an interview series.
Meet my friend Kristine. Kristine is a great gal who I met through our motorcycle club No Destination. Since we’ve met she’s proven to be a great friend who is one of the most generous people I know, who can give un-biased advice when it’s needed. (I know, I know run-on sentence….) So… without further ado – here is Kristine.
Name: Kristine Choma
Age: MYOB :)
Location: Upstate NY
Hails from: Queens NY
Relationship Status: In one
Children: 1 daughter Alicia & My Pom Bubba
Blog Link: http://shouldabeenablonde.wordpress.com
Occupation: Senior litigation specialist
What is the most challenging part of your job? Wishing I had my old job back with the special investigations unit.
You’ve been through quite a few tragedies in your life. What’s gotten you through them?
Cases & cases of Michelob Ultra Seriously, I credit my fighting spirit, I’m a scrapper & I can be stubborn as hell. When I went through the Mold House chaos I was determined not be victimized; to raise public awareness about Toxic Black Mold; the fact there are no penalties for sellers of real property when they lie on disclosure statements; that Home Inspectors have no accountability for the info or lack thereof contained in their reports; lastly to have laws & some kind of standards enacted by the Dept of Health to protect the public. I was also determined not to perpetrate the same fraud I was a victim of on other people. I lost everything I owned including a house I had only owned for 11 months before realizing it was slowly killing me & my daughter. This is a really long story as my battles were many w/multiple different agencies from the real estate agent who was related to & helped the sellers disguise the true condition of this home to the I.R.S. & lasted almost 2 years.
For the house fire once again my fighting spirit, stubbornness & refusal to be victimized got me through. However, my knowledge of insurance probably contributed to saving the day in spite of All State’s attempted concealment of benefits we were entitled too & their claims handling philosophy of delay, deny, defend & then delay some more. The beautiful thing about the fire was that so many friends came forward to help me out, especially an old elementary school friend (Big Shout out to Kim to whom I am eternally grateful); who gave us furniture, clothing, kitchen stuff etc etc to help get back to normal during the first couple of months while All State attempted to not pay our claim. The beauty of my many friends generous spirits was that it enabled me once we did start getting our claim paid is that I was able to Pay It Forward w/3 different families. I helped a man & his daughter starting over after a divorce. I helped a young woman & her daughter re-establish themselves after an abusive relationship; & a very young couple w/an infant & 3-year-old son re-establish themselves after they were exposed to Toxic Mold.
How do you manage being the mother of a rebellious teenager?
I don’t know. Am I managing? I just keep praying the day she snaps out of it is tomorrow. But truly things have gotten better with her; she is slowly growing up.
What’s your favorite color? Don’t have just one; but Teal, (not aqua – teal like a peacock’s feathers) Crimson, & a paint color called Cougar are among my fave’s
What got you interesting in motorcycle riding? It’s all my Granddaddy, Charlie’s (pronounced Chahhlie) fault. When I was a little girl I couldn’t wait to visit him in North Carolina. He would make me ‘beg him’ to take me for rides on his fully dressed Road King & I loved it. I knew he wanted to give me the ride as much as I did despite his teasing & pretending to be too busy. I loved hanging out with him in ‘the Motorcycle House’. (Yes, his Harley had its very own house) & watch him wash, polish, change the oil etc. etc. while sneaking me sips of his beer when the ‘adults’ weren’t looking. I loved watching his friends ride up to ask his help & opinion on how to fix what was ailing their bikes & the camaraderie they shared. The best is when my Mother or Ree-Ree (my Grandmother) would catch him letting me sip on his Schlitz. It was so funny watching him play innocent when he knew he was busted, but trying to get away with it anyway. Granddaddy was the best & I miss him terribly.
I know you have your own motorcycle license, so why don’t you ride your own bike?Actually getting my license taught me the huge responsibility & risk one takes when operating a motorcycle. Anyone who does not have a license doesn’t realize that the smallest thing like a pebble or twig in the road can cause you to drop your bike. After surviving a motorcycle accident while I was a passenger shortly after getting my license, I had to admit to myself I don’t have enough hours behind the handle bars to ride my own. We went down because the transmission seized & the rear wheel locked. If I had been operating that bike when it happened, I would not have been able to control ‘the down’ & I’d probably be dead.
What’s your favorite destination to ride to? No destination – anywhere. So long as I’m riding.
What’s your favorite vacation destination? Don’t have one of those either. I usually va-kay w/my family in Pennsylvania or North Carolina. I do enjoy going to Laconia every year though & Puerto Rico was great!
You have the cutest Pomeranian dog. Tell us how wonderful Bubba is….
What can I say? Bubba is Bubba-licious. J He truly is a one –owner Pom (a trait of the breed) he follows me everywhere I go no matter where (except in the pool – Bubba don’t play dat.) He is a marvelous watch dog that never fails to alert me when the doorbell rings; or a door opens or closes. Doors opening & closing & door bells ringing mean people are coming & since he is so very protective of me he wants me to know people are on the way. He is very well socialized; loves all people & other animals. He’s a big snuggle bear & loves to lay w/me & be petted & give me kisses.
I know you love to cook. What is your favorite meal to cook?
THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!! I love to cook big meals & there is no bigger meal than Thanksgiving.
You’re known as the 50/50 Goddess…. What is the biggest pot you’ve ever had?
Well in excess of $1200.00
Who is the most interesting celebrity you’ve ever met?
That would be Sully Erna & the band Godsmack. I won a contest w/Channel 103.1 (J.K. Rox) It was by far the most rockin’ experience of my life. I got to ride on their tour bus, hang out backstage & get autographs & then have dinner with them. It was amazing.
What if anything do you collect?
Sandals & boots; peacocks; & art by James Christensen.
Which is your favorite James Christensen?
I don’t have just one favorite. I love everything James Christensen does. ‘Poofy Guy on a String’ was the 1st Christensen I ever purchased. When I bought Poofy Guy; I was going through the Mold House drama. When I read the description that Poofy Guy’s wardrobe represented the baggage of a life time it touched me in my soul. Next came Twilight; then The Bride; Gettin’ it Right; Superstitions; A Place of Her Own & Fairy Tales came last. A Place of Her Own is my 2nd favorite. I came across that one right after the fire & a lot of people thought I resembled the woman in the picture. But there was so much about the painting itself that reminded me of things I’d owned but lost in the fire, or to the Mold House, I had to have it.
What is the biggest misconception about you?
That I’m Italian.
What do you like to spend money on?
Sandals, boots, Halloween Decorations & James Christensen’s art.
What’s your favorite board game?
Nightmare. It’s actually an interactive video board game. Creepy stuff, so naturally I luv it.
What would be the title of your auto-biography?
The Luckiest of the Unlucky
You were recently injured. What’s the diagnosis?
Three herniated discs in my Lumbar Spine w/nerve impingement, & lesions of the sciatic nerve.