June 04, 2001 12:00 PM

The Parent Trap

Before she hit it big, Britney Spears was a typical teen with a doting mom. Neither has changed much

Think your mother just lives to embarrass you? Britney might know how you feel. Log on to britneyspears.com and you’ll find not only the expected hip-shaking pictures of the pop princess but also a diary kept by her mom, Lynne, 46, of Kentwood, La., in excruciating, day-by-day detal. Among Mom’s musings:

•”She is such a perfectionist…. Even as a little girl she had to have her pants in one place, dresses, shirts, skirts and sweaters in another.”

•”I hate it when she is gone so long…. Britney loves touring, but she is getting very tired of the road…I wish I could bring her home with me!”

•”Sundays are always lazy days for us…We usually lie around the house, watch movies and take long naps…. Britney usually sleeps until noon when she’s home.”

•”[Britney] needs her big closet space.”

Lynne Spears couldn’t be reached for comment. Somewhere Britney must be sighing with relief.

My Favorite Sites

Arnold Vosloo

He’s best known for kicking up a desert storm as the title character in The Mummy and its smash sequel The Mummy Returns, but Vosloo’s Internet tastes favor composition over decomposition. Most mornings the South African actor checks out online magazine salon.com. “I love the variety,” he says. “It’s spread over the whole spectrum—it’s left wing and right wing. I like the writers too. The best of all is Camille Paglia. I like reading her stuff, because she doesn’t pull any punches.” Unlike, say, The Scorpion King.

Internet Manners

A guy I know says that if I ever make him mad, he’ll hack into my computer, delete my files and steal my credit card number. How can I protect myself?

Some basic safety precautions: Pick a hard-to-guess password; use a good, up-to-date antivirus program; and turn off your computer’s file-sharing feature. Those steps should stymie amateur cyberdelinquents (if this blowhard is even that talented). For more protection, you can buy fire-wall software, which creates tougher barriers to invaders. Meanwhile, you might remind him that hacking is a federal crime and that if you ever find one byte out of place, you’ll speed-dial the FBI.

I caught my husband in a private chat room at midnight. When I asked what he was up to, he said it was “nothing.” Should I be concerned?

Chats can be perfectly innocent—but that evasive “nothing” suggests that he was indeed up to something untoward, and he owes you an explanation.

Sorcerer’s Apprentice Lands Stock Options

Reading the Harry Potter books, Kate Cheney immediately took to Harry’s egghead friend Hermione. “She is doing really well at Hog-warts, and people make fun of her for it,” says Cheney, 14. “I do well in school too, and I have been called a bookworm, so I know what it’s like.”

But the Hermiones of the world have the last laugh in the tech age: Cheney has a monthly salary and stock options thanks to the Potter fan site she launched in July 1999. “She taught herself things that we really didn’t know how to do ourselves,” says her mother, Judy, a technical writer. (Dad is a computer programmer.) “I had trivia questions, character bios and a section about the author,” says Cheney. In April 2000 she got an e-mail from Fandom Inc., a company that ran fan Web sites and soon offered her a two-year contract. She agreed, taking her site to fandom.com/harrypotter. Retaining full editorial control, she spends about 14 hours a week keeping it fresh. The eighth grader won’t say how much she makes but notes slyly, “I used to babysit my brother and sister a lot, but I am set for now.”

Click and Get It

A Bid for Better Sleep

Insomniacs can now turn to celebs for comfort. Through May 30, http://www.ebay.com/pajamagame will auction signed sleepwear to benefit the Aid for AIDS charity. Among the offerings: David Hyde Pierce’s terry-cloth robe, a T-shirt from John Travolta (above) and Jennifer Lopez‘s sleeping mask.

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