Another minor disaster occurred during the chaos of that day. It was relatively unimportant, but the strap on my laptop bag snapped. It snapped in a way that wouldn't allow for an easy fix. I therefore decided that I would replace it with a backpack instead.
I used to have a backpack for my music, back when I had a minidisc player and then the mp3 CD player. When I got the Nomad, I was able to scale back to a very small side bag. However, when they issued us these laptops, I had to get a laptop bag, most of which are side bags. Now, between the laptop, power chord, hardcover book and everything else, that thing could get rather heavy. Furthermore, I was always finding myself repositioning it on the subway. On top of all of that, if I wasn't listening to music I had to hold the headphones as they were too bulky to fit in the bag.
I found a nice backpack that pretty much solves all those problems. The weight is distributed across both shoulders with much more comfortable padding, the pack's placement on my back means that it is either on or off (I take my backpack off and hold it on the subway when it's packed), and there is plenty of space not only for the headphones but plenty of other junk. It even has a dedicated pouch for the iPod, although I don't use it for that.
I only got it two days ago and have only had a chance to really use it today. But it is so much more convenient.