Some people have the mind for languages; some don't. It's the way of things.
I learn languages fairly easy, though I don't retain them very well, and I agree that rote learning's a bad way to do it. That's why I recommend trying to learn Spanish--it's very easy to find other Spanish-speakers in the US, and having someone to practice on/with is your best bet, as others have said.
Actually, I tutored a friend in college. I had to take five credits of a foreign language to graduate, so I took Spanish 101 as a refresher course. (I took three years of it in high school but had lost my fluency by living in Port Angeles, WA; practically all I could do anymore was order dinner.) We put big sheets of butcher paper on her wall, and I wrote the grammar all over them. But we practiced speaking so she'd get the vocabulary.
"Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"
"You can't erase icing."
"I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"