Retiring KARE 11 anchor Diana Pierce said she was not pushed out of the station.

Last week a news release arrived via e-mail announcing her 32-year career at the station is ending Friday. A subsequent Facebook posting by her colleague Pat Evans disclosed that Pierce was among those taking a buyout.

"The timing is excellent," said Pierce when I caught up with her. "The CEO of the YWCA is a friend of mine. Becky Roloff is her name, and she said, 'You leave a job three ways. You die at your desk. You are given the option to leave and you might get a little something as they open the door for you. Or you leave on your own accord.' In this particular case, they've opened the door and given me a little something, which is good. I'm all good with that. No, they didn't push me."

The first co-anchor of Paul Magers', during the time with the station rose to dominate ratings in this market, Pierce has been co-anchoring KARE 11 News at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. the past few years.

She was overwhelmed by the reaction to her departure inside KARE 11. During Pierce's last week at the station, a series of special stories and surprise guests is scheduled. If Magers is among the guests, I hope he thinks of something more interesting than his tweets to me.

Pierce is scheduled to graduate from Augsburg College later this month with a master's degree in leadership.

"We'll see what doors are open that weren't in the past, as a result of getting a master's. For me, I look at it as an additional set of skills," Pierce said. "I'm looking into several different opportunities. [The advanced degree] lets me think there is life after broadcasting. Now I feel prepared for it."

I would appreciate it if Pierce's post-KARE 11 life includes no additional razzing about a video she did with me.

"I had a friend e-mail me: 'Hey, what's up with the cigar deal?" ' said Pierce, citing one disapproving comment.

Rent a sense of humor, people!

We were just having fun. Pierce is not a cigar smoker; it was a prop for reasons I don't remember. She remains a fitness proponent, and her contributions at KARE 11 include reporting on health and the "Diana Pierce Family Mile," which for 10 years was associated with the Twin Cities Marathon.

Thanks for nothing, Twins fans

The Monte Carlo was not serving the Szechuan green beans for lunch last Tuesday. A waitron told me they ran out of the sauce because they got slammed Monday, the day of the Twins home opener. I didn't ask why the chef didn't have some sesame oil, garlic, fresh ginger and red pepper flakes in the kitchen, because it's a bad idea to tick off people handling your food.

I was at Monte Carlo with Edina's former Makeup Queen Carroll Britton and her son, YouTube's "In the Closet" host Evan Kail. At one point Kail and I noticed his mother at the bar intently writing something. She informed us it was a note to restaurateur John Rimarcik.

While there were no green beans, I made another spicy sighting: WCCO-TV anchor Frank Vascellaro in the company of a friend in Rod Stewart hair, Mark Lacek. They were later joined by Dean Phillips, looking as yummy as a container of his Talenti Gelato sea salt caramel. Had I not been distracted, a few words would have been shared about the gelato pops box containing three bars instead of four.

Glammin' with Jimmy Jam

Lisa and Jimmy Jam had front-row seats during an OWN episode of "For Peete's Sake."

They were among the celebrities at the HollyRod Foundation fashion gala. Created by actor Holly Robinson Peete and former NFL QB Rodney Peete, HollyRod raises money to support people with Parkinson's disease and autism.

Jimmy Jam (thanks for the retweet Monday) is first seen in the background of the red carpet arrival of Nicole Murphy, marketing her astounding body in not much fabric. HRP was headed Jimmy Jam's direction until she noticed Murphy: "Whooo. I don't want to go near that. I'm taking a back way. I just want to start doing some squats."

That was as funny as HRP's riff on baby boy Roman's curly hair, which she did not want to see walking "down the runway looking like a giant sea anemone." Tumbleweed, brown cotton candy, beehive, sea sponge and as if rats had been sucking on it were other terms she used to describe Roman's mom-and-dad-defying hair.

C.J. can be reached at and seen on Fox 9's "Jason Show." E-mailers, please state a subject; "Hello" does not count. Attachments are not opened.