I've decided to teach myself French. My entirely logical and practical reasons for this decision are:
1) I'm tired of staring blankly whenever a French word crops up, completely unsure of how to pronounce it.
2) I'd love to actually go to France some day. So it'd be nice if I could, you know, communicate.
3) I'd understand the last 20 minutes of Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill.
4) There's something really appealing about the idea of being at a party (though I don't go to parties), shaking my hair out (which, given that it's about ear-length, never really looks as suave as I intend) and saying "Oh, I taught myself French. Just for funsies." It would be like winning pretension bingo.
5) At some point, I'm going to have kids and if I don't know French, it'll make no sense to teach them French. And if they don't know French, their little berets will seem awfully superfluous.
So, using the combined powers of BBC Languages, the library, and Half.com, I'm trying to teach myself French. If I make it beyond horribly mangling and mispronouncing thought provoking statements like "Where is the red tomato?" and "Years ago, I was in school", then I'll be both surprised and deeply impressed with myself. Then I'll relearn Spanish, then....I don't know. Learning Japanese seems cool in theory, but my handwriting is so bad that it actually shames my family (my mother cannot see it without involuntarily scoffing) so I feel like my attempting to write in Japanese would just immediately turn into some sort of bad 80s-style sitcom-y farce. Though it's putting the cart before the ....French word for horse...to try to pick my fourth language when I still keep shouting "You don't need that many accents!" at my library books.
Though seriously, some of them don't even change the pronunciation of the letter. Isn't that the entire point of an accent?
Speaking of things relating to other countries (yay! labored segue!), TLo posted photos from the "National Costumes" part of Miss Universe. It's amazing. Miss USA looks like she stopped by in the middle of rehearsals for the Victoria Secret Fashion Show, and Miss Switzerland has a sword. It's just part one, so keep an eye out for even more pictures later. Like Miss France.
See what I did there?
I brought it full circle. Sort of.