Meetings are often seen solely as a site of collective work. However, as McGrath has noted, groups are concerned with much more than collective work. In this study we examine how individuals experience meetings, and ask what they do, why they do it, and how they feel about it. Our study focuses on recurring meetings, both because recurring meetings are an ordinary aspect of organization life, and because their routine nature lends them a casual character that distinguishes them from one-time, issue-focused meetings. This paper analyzes accounts of 19 meetings and examines how various peripheral activities - side-talk, side-tracking, multi-tasking, pre- and post-meeting talk - have positive effects, as well as negative ones. We argue that viewing recurring meetings as a confluence of individual and collective aims suggests new approaches for designing technology that supports both meetings and participants.