I had sort of forgotten how time-consuming the end of August is around my house. The unspoken arrangement with my landlady is that she keeps the rent low, and I keep the place low maintenance, and thus it falls to me to arrange replacement tenants as people leave. The process of emails and phone calls and returning home at strange times to give tours does occupy some hours, but as I do have to live with these people for (nominally) the next year I appreciate having the chance to try and craft a workable household. Not, of course, that I can legally refuse to rent a room on the basis of personality, but it's basic human nature that enthusiasm feeds back, and thus the people I'd most like to add as tenants are often the first to call back.
Timing plays a role in making that dynamic play out, of course. For one thing, the year leases around here generally start on 1 September, so once you get too close to (or past) that date the supply of people not looking for a month-to-month dwindles sharply, and the ones you do get are getting desperate. At that point subtle cues and body language are wholly inadequate to steer the outcome, and in fact this is the mechanism by which I've acquired the least satisfactory housemates over the years. Should the scenario arise again, I think I might try taking on a month-to-month tenant to tide the room over to the next semester boundary rather than picking from the thin crop of lease latecomers.
On a totally unrelated note, there's been notable confusion in the blogosphere about Alberto Gonzales' resignation, considering that he's been a discredited laughing stock of a political (and legal) liability for weeks if not months now. It's almost like some kind of admission by the White House that Congress is relevant, or that lying is wrong, or that laws still apply. But don't get your hopes up, for the TV has provided a much simpler answer:
The resignation decision appears to have been made last Friday. John Stewart and the Daily Show went on vacation on Thursday.